Top 50 Rising Stars 2021 continued (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Aaron Kern, associate, Allstate Strategic Ventures

Aaron Kern is an associate at Allstate Strategic Ventures (ASV), insurer Allstate’s corporate venture capital (CVC) arm, where he leads areas including insurance technology, health and wellness, cybersecurity, benefits, blockchain and future of work.

Tarik Galijasevic, managing director of ASV, said: “Aaron has a keen investment mind. He does a great job evaluating potential opportunities on multiple levels across multiple horizons from both strategic and investment standpoint.

“Aaron is a tireless contributor to our team who is willing to take on any assignment we ask him to tackle and he does his work in a high-quality and timely fashion. He is always willing to go the extra mile to get a project done even if it means working evenings or weekends. He is a real asset to our team.”

Kern said he was attracted to CVC because it combined educational opportunities across early-stage investing and corporate strategy. “As the traditional financial VC market becomes increasingly saturated, CVCs can differentiate themselves by providing unique value to early-stage companies, including as a strategic source of capital, key commercial partner, product development partner and provider of industry insights and knowledge,” he pointed out.

“This unique value proposition allows CVCs to access proprietary deal flow and work with some of the best entrepreneurs and most impressive early-stage companies. I wanted a chance to work with this calibre of companies and entrepreneurs while developing investment and strategy capabilities.”

Two most recent deals Kern sourced and led have developed commercial relationships with Allstate, which is currently looking to further accelerate technological transformations for the new world post-pandemic – greater automation, digital infrastructure, and data capabilities.

Kern added: “I can say that our portfolio has performed quite well and reflects top-tier IRR (internal rate of return) performance as well as substantial strategic value, including meaningful cost savings, accelerated technological adoption and increased revenue.”

Edison Fu

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