Robert manages the investment process related to private equity opportunities within AMERRA. He joined the team in 2015 with an experienced foundation and background in the grain industry, risk management and domestic and international logistics, which was built over 10+ years with J.D. Heiskell & Co. in a variety of executive roles. At the time of his departure from J.D. Heiskell & Co., he oversaw a diverse team of 200+ individuals located in multiple states that collectively generated in excess of $1.5 billion in annual sales revenue and handled over two million tons a year of various physical commodities. Robert began his career at Cargill Animal Nutrition and held management positions throughout the United States. Robert was raised on a grain and beef cattle farm in Indiana, he received a BS in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University and an MBA with concentrations in finance and management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Robert is a past Director of the National Grain and Feed Association, and currently serves on the Oklahoma State University Animal Science Alumni Advisory Board. Robert also sits on the board of Pipeline Foods (U.S.A).
Thor manages the investment process related to private equity opportunities within AMERRA. Joining AMERRA in 2015, Thor brings a wealth of experience in the international seafood and aquaculture industry including roles as senior executive, advisor, investor, and corporate and investment banker. He joined AMERRA from Neptune Partners, where he was the founding partner of this Norway-based, seafood focused investment advisor. Prior to Neptune, Thor was head of the corporate finance seafood team at Arctic Securities, a Norwegian investment bank focused on international maritime sectors. In 2009/2010, Thor was executive chairman of a successful turnaround of AquaBio Technology. Prior to AquaBio, Thor was a managing director and country manager for Landesbanki hf, responsible for the global aquaculture sector. From 2000-2005, Thor was CFO and then CEO of Fjord Marin ASA, an OTC listed aquaculture company. Thor earned his bachelors of business administration from Trondheim Business School in Norway and is a frequent speaker at industry focused investor conferences.
Thor sits on the boards of Andromeda S.A. (Greece) and Biomega AS (Norway).
Manuel sources and executes investment opportunities and provides ongoing support to portfolio companies. Hands-on experience in private equity, paired with a background in strategy & management consulting are tools he deploys to ensure success. AMERRA’s mission to transform food and agriculture towards a more sustainable system and deploy capital in an overlooked yet opportunity ripe industry resonates with Manuel.
His capability and drive were displayed when Manuel served on the team that originated and executed the acquisition of Biomega. He continues to be instrumental in supporting the Biomega management team with long-term strategic planning and execution, developing relations with key industry partners, and assisting with geographic and species diversification. Another example of Manuel’s impact was his pivotal role in the acquisition of Andromeda and execution of its buy-and-build strategy through the acquisition of Nireus and Selonda.
Through Biomega, Andromeda and the other portfolio companies, Manuel’s approach embodies AMERRA’s culture: collaborative and supportive of management teams, hands-on and in the trenches when required, and focused on creating measurable stakeholder value that lasts beyond AMERRA’s tenure.
Manuel’s value also extends internally to development of the PE team. He drives the development of investment strategies and mentors junior team members. As the team grows, he has taken on additional responsibilities of identifying, hiring and coaching talent.
Prior to joining AMERRA, Manuel was a Senior Associate at ECS, the largest Portuguese private equity fund. Manuel focused on distressed opportunities and in this capacity was responsible for all transaction aspects from screening to execution and post-closing support. He was involved in the acquisition, financial restructuring, turnaround and buildup/consolidation strategy of one of Portugal’s largest agribusinesses. He further served as board advisor in two agribusiness portfolio companies where he supported management teams with financial planning and implementing business development initiatives. Previously Manuel was a Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group where he focused mostly on food and consumer goods projects.
Manuel spent six months in Costa Rica working as a volunteer for a local microfinance institution. He supported small family coffee farmers helping organize and consolidate their processing operations to serve international markets directly and capture a greater margin of the value chain.
Manuel holds a Bachelors in Management and Finance from Nova Business School in Lisbon, Portugal and an MBA from the Columbia Business School. During his MBA Manuel interned with the investment team of J.Burke Capital Partners, Tarpon Investimentos and SFW Capital Partners. Manuel is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.