Private Equity Investor Mark Holyoake Finds Gold In Iceland’s Seafood Industry

British investors feel the pressure of Brexit. Theresa May wants to make a deal with the European Union, but British lawmakers don’t like the prime minister’s plan. International companies and investors are unsure about the future. But Mark Holyoake, the founder of Oakvest, a private equity firm is not one of those unsure investors. Mr. Holyoake expanded his investment tentacles in 2010. That’s when Mark decided to invest in Iceland Seafood International.

Investing in the seafood industry in Iceland was a risky move for 47-year-old Holyoake. His main business was property management and development. Venturing into the Iceland Seafood industry when Iceland banks were going out of business, and the country’s economy was on life support seemed like a strange move to some British investors who follow Holyoake’s investment strategies. But Mark saw an opportunity those investors didn’t see.

It took Mark and the new executive team at Iceland Seafood International nine years to update their systems and develop a business plan that included selling and shipping fresh seafood to food companies in other countries in Europe. Those companies wanted a daily shipment of fresh North Atlantic seafood. Mr. Holyoake’s business expertise and his money helped ISI become a major supplier of fresh seafood in Europe. In 2016, Iceland Seafood International went public. And in 2018, the ISI merger with Solo Seafood strengthened the company’s ability to reach other parts of the world.

Mr. Holyoake resigned from the ISI board in 2018. His company still owns a decent slice of ISI, but Holyoake is back in the real estate investment business in Ibiza. Mark and his family live in Ibiza. Mark decided to invest and manage the Herdade da Comporta property with members of the Carvalho family. But Mark still keeps up with his investment in Iceland Seafood International. That investment changed the way he does business. He knows the challenges Britain faces now will give him more successful investment opportunities if he does the research and is willing to risk his money on calculated business and political hunches.

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