Aqua-Spark CEO steps down

Lissy Smit has decided to move on from her role as CEO of the aquaculture investment firm. She will be replaced at the Aqua-Spark helm by co-founder Mike Velings from July 1 2024.
Aqua-Spark CEO Lissy Smit is stepping down.

Aqua-Spark CEO Lissy Smit is stepping down.

Photo: Aquaspark.

Changes are afoot at Aqua-Spark's top table, as Lissy Smit has today announced she will step down from her role as CEO of the aquaculture investment firm.

Taking over at the Aqua-Spark helm from July 1 is Mike Velings, who is co-founder of the fund together with Amy Novogratz.

"After mindful reflection, I have decided to move on from my role as CEO of Aqua-Spark. My last day of work at the investment fund will be June 30th," Smit wrote in a LinkedIn post announcing her resignation.

"I did not come to this decision lightly. I am proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team since I joined, and of our portfolio companies that are transforming the aquaculture industry around the world."

Announcing her decision, Smit enumerated a range of achievements made by Aqua-Spark during her tenure as the fund's CEO, including investments in the start-ups Enifer, Wanda Fish, Tepbac, and AquaRech, in addition to Hatch Blue's Blue Revolution Fund.

During this time, the aquaculture impact fund has also prepared Aqua-Spark Africa for launch, which Smit noted included securing anchor investment from German state-owned development bank KfW.

In addition, Smit highlighted that the fund has also "solidified SFDR Dark Green Article 9" status - where "Dark Green" indicates a fund which invests in companies aiming to contribute to a more sustainable society, in accordance with EU regulations over sustainability and transparency for investors.

"Confidence that the fund is in good hands"

"I am stepping away from Aqua-Spark with confidence that the fund is in good hands with an incredibly talented team supported by a deeply experienced Supervisory Board and co-founder, Mike Velings stepping in as CEO. I want to thank Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz for the their strong vision of industry sustainability. We will continue to share a deeply held belief in investment as a vehicle for positive systems change," Smit wrote.

"This decade is a critical moment for our planet, climate and global food system and I look forward to continuing to play a role in addressing some of our most critical challenges. I’ll be sharing more about the next steps in my leadership career in the near future."

"Thank you to the superbly talented and driven team at Aqua-Spark, our remarkable portfolio of companies, partners, experts and investors for your continued support," Smit added.

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