Kevin Schwartz has been an investor in the food and agribusiness industry for more than two decades. Today he leads Paine Schwartz Partners as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner. He is further the Chairman of Paine Schwartz Partners’ ESG Committee driving a truly differentiated approach to sustainable food chain investing with material emphasis on the development of positive impacts.
Mr. Schwartz was raised in the town of Moline on the border of Illinois and Iowa, a region known for its agricultural activities and the headquarters of John Deere. His great grandparents were subsistence farmers in Iowa and his grandfather was an assemblyman at the John Deere tractor works in Des Moines after serving in the military. Kevin’s uncle and his father both spent their entire careers at John Deere. Having grown up with this family connection to such an important industry and witnessing personally both its challenges and opportunities, food and agribusiness captured Mr. Schwartz’s attention and has been his career focus ever since.
Mr. Schwartz began his career at Goldman Sachs in the late-1990s, where he worked alongside fellow Managing Partner and CIO Angelos Dassios, starting a professional partnership that has spanned 25 years. At Goldman Sachs, Mr. Schwartz worked on numerous transactions covering mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, public and private financings, and other corporate transactions within the Investment Banking Division. From there, Kevin moved into private equity working for two organizations, Fremont Partners and American Industrial Partners, before coming to the Predecessor Organization in 2001. Mr. Schwartz immediately made his mark on the firm by leading the first two deals in the agribusiness space, two critically important and technology rich seed companies named Seminis and Advanta. Having identified the opportunity to invest as a sector-focused expert in the fundamentally important and attractive agribusiness and food industry, Mr. Schwartz drove the transformation of the Predecessor Organization. Kevin emphasized proprietary primary research, proactive thesis development, deep domain expertise, operating excellence and business transformation capabilities, and the wisdom of direct sector leadership experience from a group of world-class industry executives, to develop the premier investment firm in the industry.
Mr. Schwartz has served on the boards of many Paine Schwartz Partners companies over the years, including Advanta, Costa, FoodChain ID, Seminis, Sunrise Growers, and Verisem, which span the spectrum from upstream agricultural businesses to downstream branded food companies. He currently serves on the boards of Advanced Agrilytics, AgroFresh Solutions, Axiota, BLOOM Fresh International (created by the merger of SNFL Group and IFG), Elemental Enzymes, Hendrix Genetics, Lyons Magnus, Suja, and Urban Farmer. He is also a board council member of the national non-profit Hope for the Warriors. Mr. Schwartz is a graduate of the University of Illinois (Bachelor of Science in Accountancy).