Frank’s career has focused on the agricultural and geospatial industries, with extensive experience in Europe, the Americas, Russia and China. Frank maintains strong relationships with some of the leading investors in CEE agriculture. The combination of agricultural and geospatial know-how allowed Frank to develop a substantial understanding of farmland acquisition, consolidation, compacting and management.
Frank started his career with Grimme, a worldwide market leader for farm equipment specialized on root crops and served as Vice President for the Americas operation. During his tenure Frank gained substantial experience about the various farming practices in different parts of the world. Additionally, Frank was involved in an extensive research project with the United States Department if Agriculture (USDA) for the development of new and innovative planting techniques for root crops. Frank was also an early adopter of precision agriculture as he was part of a small team to integrate GPS Auto Pilot technology on a pulled type farm implement at a very early stage in the adoption curve when this technology was exclusively used on self-propelled units like tractors and combines.
Following his career in the agricultural equipment industry Frank has worked for Trimble Navigation as General Manager for Trimble’s Nikon/Spectra Precision Division. During this time Frank was based in Denver, Colorado and Frankfurt, Germany. Trimble is the market leader for high precision global positioning hard and software with sub-centimeter accuracy, specifically in the field of precision agriculture, 3D machine control, 3D-scanning, laser technology, geographic information systems and land management. Trimble is listed on Nasdaq with revenues of $2.5B in 2015.
Olga Maridana Vasile
A director and founder-level executive with a strong track record of managing real asset investment development platforms across a range of sectors and jurisdictions in Western Europe and the emerging markets of CEE combined with an execution experience of large construction projects. Being a Romanian national, Olga brings a strong local capability to the platform with overall responsibility for the administrative, organizational and regulatory aspects of the business.
Olga played an active role in the successful acquisition of over 20.000 hectares of prime Romanian agricultural land over the past 24 months with a focus on managing the land acquisition process, including the cadastral and land book registration based on local legislation and in accordance with Western institutional standards. Olga was also responsible for coordinating legal due diligence on the group’s land, irrigation and other infrastructure projects. Olga has developed a strong professional network within the regional agricultural sector including a number of the leading local business owners across South East Europe.
Prior to joining Geo Farms, Olga was the Managing Director of Blaubau GmbH, a construction firm located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Notable projects include the construction of two shopping centers, RheinBerg Galerie in Bergisch Gladbach and Ernst-August-Galerie, Hanover, both Germany. The centers feature international anchor tenants such as C&A, Marc O’Polo, New Yorker, H&M, Mexx, Vodafone, Sky, Hilfiger, Bose, Hollister and s’Oliver.
Olga has written and spoken fluency in Romanian, German, English, Italian and Yugoslavian.
Olga is based in Geo Farms’ Romania office in Brasov.
Before becoming a founding partner of Geo Farms, Robert was the Managing Director of Somerston Capital (www.somerstoncapital.com), the internal investment and asset manager of the Somerston Group, a privately owned real estate and resources investment firm with retail, hotel, residential, medical and agricultural property investments in the US, UK and continental Europe.
Robert has long experience in Romania, Ukraine, Czech Republic and the region, having co-founded a Bucharest and Kiev-based real estate investment management company focusing on the development and subsequent management of large format commercial property developments in Eastern Europe. Robert raised and committed some $750m of debt and equity capital and delivered over 2.5 million sq ft of international quality commercial real estate in some of Europe’s most challenging markets and economic circumstances.
Robert was a founding member of the investment team at Somerston Capital which developed and managed a €1 billion global portfolio of retail, hotel, residential and agricultural properties in Eastern Europe, the UK and the US. Prior to Somerston, Robert was a Director of Consensus, a UK-based property investment and development group with assets in excess of $4 billion. Robert started his career at Citibank in New York where he worked in the Fixed Income trading group.