Mark Holyoake is the founder and CEO of Oakvest Holdings and formerly of IceSea, otherwise known as Iceland Seafood International (ISI) Holdings. Just this last January he announced that he would be stepping down from IceSea to pursue other interests, but he is happy with where the company is headed now under new CEO BjarniArmannsson. One thing Holyoake seems to be good at is finding ways to turn a profit even in industries where the markets don’t seem to be looking up, and even rebuilding companies that are on the verge of closing. Part of his ability to do this was learning from an experience he had when one of his companies was closed.
What led Mark Holyoake into the Seafood wholesale industry was seeing how the recession and government interventions of the 2008 global recession impacted one of Iceland’s key economic drivers, and he decided he was up for the challenge of investing in and revitalizing it. He credits the work that was done at IceSea as a cumulative buy-in into the strategy of partnering with and buying out the right companies that helped strengthen its position in the European markets. Because as Holyoake says, you cannot accomplish your goals without your colleagues also being on board with your decision. Holyoake said he was a believer in the seafood industry because he has seen a trend among consumers to eat more healthy foods, and seafood has been in demand in certain countries.
Mark Holyoake has been an entrepreneur and investor since graduating from the University of Reading in the UK in 1995. From there, he went into real estate brokering and would soon start Oakvest Holdings which has turned several abandoned commercial and residential properties into flourishing districts over the years. He began IceSea in 2010 and ran it until a new deal that would merge it with Icelandic Iberia was announced.
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