Top 50 Emerging Leaders 2021 continued (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Justin Smith-Lorenzetti, investment director, Intact Ventures

Justin Smith-Lorenzetti is one of two founding team members of Intact Ventures, the C$400m corporate venture capital (CVC) arm of Canada-headquartered insurance provider Intact Financial Corporation. The fund can lead rounds, invests globally and is active in assisting its portfolio companies in their growth trajectory.

“Since launching Intact Ventures in January 2016, I have grown to a point where I manage the investment team for Intact Ventures,” Smith-Lorenzetti said. “Dating back to being the lead analyst on deals in 2016 to taking full control of leading transactions in 2020, I have personally been involved in investing in 25 portfolio companies since our launch five years ago.”

The unit is now investing out of its second fund and has deployed over C$250m, partnering with startup founders. Smith-Lorenzetti is engaged with the majority of the portfolio and currently manages seven board relationships on behalf of the fund.

“My entry into CVC is quite unique as I was offered the opportunity to join my managing director (MD) and start with a completely blank slate in 2016. We started by identifying trends that we believed to be disruptive in the long-term to property and casualty insurance, which we have updated seemingly hundreds of times in the last five years.

“The mix of combining our deep industry experience with the ability to leverage our corporate partner to build new solutions to accelerate our portfolio companies continues to be the best part of the job.”

The fund has participated in deals for automotive insurance provider Metromile and car-sharing service Turo in the US and India-based online insurance platform Acko Insurance.

Smith-Lorenzetti added: “Since our launch, I believe we have been impactful in changing the way our corporate engages with younger companies, while also becoming a little more aggressive in experimenting with new concepts, which is highlighted by an artificial intelligence lab in Hong Kong in 2019, which has been managed by the MD of Intact Ventures.”

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.