“The ones who underestimate experience, pay a high price for inexperience.”

Bert van der Vaart, Senior Advisor

Hubertus Jan (Bert) van der Vaart co-founded Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) in 1989 in the U.S.A. Today, he is SEAF’s Executive Chairman and oversees equity capital of more than $650 million under management in emerging market SMEs through a network of 19 offices in Latin America, Central Europe, and Asia.
Hubertus Jan (Bert) van der Vaart co-founded Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) in 1989, when it was known as the CARE Small Business Assistance Corporation (CARESBAC). In 1992, Mr. van der Vaart negotiated the establishment of CARESBAC/SEAF’s first fund in Poland, which grew to $16.8 million total capital under management under his leadership as the fund’s Director General. While serving as Director-General of CARESBAC-Polska from August 1994 until May 1997, the company completed 27 SME investments and realized its first 6 exits.

In 1997, Mr. van der Vaart was appointed CEO and President of SEAF, where he has since been involved with the establishment and supervision of every SEAF fund, totaling as of December 31, 2011, $650 million under management, frequently traveling to collaborate with each SEAF fund office. In 2008, he became Executive Chairman of SEAF’s Board of Directors and became associated with Discovery Global Citizens Fund, an international investment firm. Mr. van der Vaart moved to New Delhi, India in September 2010, where he is directing the initial phase of SEAF’s India Agribusiness Fund.

From 1984 through 1994, Mr. van der Vaart was a Business Partner and Associate with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C, Frankfurt, and Brussels where he specialized in corporate and financial transactions. Prior to working for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, he was a management consultant with Bain & Company in London and Munich.

Mr. van der Vaart holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he also studied finance at Yale School of Management. Mr. van der Vaart’s other academic achievements include a B.A. in Politics and Economics and an M.Phil in Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead Scholar.

Mr. van der Vaart co-authored "Defining SMEs: A Less Imperfect Way of Defining Small and Medium Enterprises in Developing Countries" in Brookings Global Economy and Development, September 2008.

Mr. van der Vaart, further sits on the Advisory Board of Globalturk Capital.

A Dutch national and dual citizen of the Netherlands and the United States, Mr. van der Vaart speaks Dutch, English, German, French, and Polish.
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