Michel Lozeau
IMPACT INVESTING

Michel Lozeau

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Business Angel, Venture Capitalist , and Executive Coach

The function of the Board – Michel Lozeau

“If your value is driven, you’re headed the right way. If you’re value-driven, just value-driven, you’re bound to maybe fall at some point.”

ABOUT

Currently acting as Business Angel, Venture Partner and Executive Coach , I am a seasoned professional with 40 years of experience in Management, IT, and Business Transformation. For the major part of my career, I have had considerable experience in managing and growing professional services organizations.

Since 2002 I have served on multiple corporate Boards, and I have subsequently acted as an Angel Investor to provide seed capital to selected entrepreneurial ventures.

Specialties: Executive Coaching
Strategic Consulting
Venture Capital
Corporate Governance

REQUEST INTRODUCTION Arrow

THE FULL INTERVIEW

Michel Lozeau

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery Welcome! Thank you for joining us, and the way that we like to start is, if you can give us a little bit more on your background. So kind of through your banking days to the coaching. There’s a lot of great things that you’ve accomplished. I’d love to learn a bit more about that and then share a little bit about what you’re up to today, and then one thing about you that nobody would know.

Michel: Well, if I answer the first part, I won’t have time to think about the last one so let me jump in. I raised- born and raised in Montreal, attended McGill University, a bachelor of commerce. It was with a concentration on information technology. So career number one, which lasted from ‘74, when I graduated from McGill, and ended in 2003. So it’s almost 30 years span was mostly information technology. I was a poor programmer, so I quickly became a boss starting with analysts, and then project manager, and eventually running these businesses of IT consulting. I worked for a company that’s today called “Accenture”, but when I was there I had a different name, you know, Anderson, Anderson Consulting, et cetera. So I did ten years with Anderson, five years with Oracle, running services from Toronto, for all of Canada, and at the beginning and the end of this career, I was in financial services my first job was with a Royal Trust Company which, you’re too young to know was bought by Bengal Montreal because the royals and the Montreal’s crosses. You know, Bank of Montreal bought World Trust, and the Royal Bank bought Montreal Trust. So..

Jeffery Oh okay.

Michel: It’s just, it’s an x. It’s crossed. So I started my career there running, programming portfolio management systems. So as you can see I had always two interests technology and finance, and after working for Accenture, for private companies, and Oracle, I eventually joined the bank again. So I joined National Bank of Canada, where I was an executive, reporting to the CEO. This was 2001 now and I was in charge of what they called e-commerce. This old thing which 20 years ago the banks thought this was the next best thing to slice bread, so it took them a while to recruit me but at the end, they gave me all of the channels like call center, all of the alternative channels, call center, web, stuff like that, and also payments and Mastercard. So the job became interesting enough that I took it but it lasted two years and then I said that’s it for career number one. And since then, I’ve done two things which are different. Don’t cross each other, they don’t merge. I do executive coaching. All industries, all functions. The only folks I haven’t coached are priests and rabbis, and I think that’s because they have their own coach but I’ve coached-

Jeffery Or it’s coming.

Michel: No, it’s coming. Yes, hopefully. So I’m in the last 19 years, I think I’ve coached close to 125 people, and next to that, I’ve fell into a career of angel investing and later VC. I fell into it naturally. One of the first things that I did when I left career number one other than learning coaching was taking a board education, board member education. UFT did their first session in Montreal at McGill university and I was part of that cohort number one that was taught by the UFT people. Teaching how to be a board member, so I got that certification and so naturally some friends of mine, running portfolios of startups said, “Well, we need more of these independent directors because we’re tired of setting of all the on all the boards that we own shares in.” So I started 1 board, 2 board, 10 boards, and eventually somebody said, “You know, do you know somebody that could invest in this startup?” And I looked at it and said “Well, yes. Me.” So that’s how I put my hand in. (inaudible 4:22), as we say in French, this piece where it will grab your hand in until it’s you’re up into the, your shoulder. And so, one startup became 2, 3, 4, and eventually, I decided I wanted to go live in Europe. So I did that. I didn’t sell us these investments because they’re not sellable but I stopped investing for a while when I was living in Paris but when I came back I just went at it with revenge. So today I have 15 active investments in these startups. 5 of which I’m on the board, 3 of which I’m chair of the board, and etc. And in parallel, I met some people that asked if I would be interested in working with them in a VC fund, Toronto-based, Canadian VC fund, it’s called Framework Venture Partners, and so I’ve joined them as a venture partner which means I don’t work 60 hours a week like them, but I covered deal flow for my neighborhood here, Quebec, and I’m also active as a limited partner with them. And I’m also, this is where the coaching kicks in as well, I do, before we invest in portfolio companies in this in this fund, I do a profile, a human profile of the founders, and you know, that’s part of our it becomes part of our investment memo of why we’re doing this deal. And we share, of course, the info with the founders and later most of the time, we also do it for the whole executive team. Where, you know, we look at gaps for the team, and we look at lessons that we can learn on how this team can work better. So that’s where I am today you know, doing 60 days of skiing in the winter, 70 rounds of golf in the summer, and around that you know I positioned some work doing some coaching assignments, and some angel investing. I’m also on the board of Ashkebic. I’ve been active there for the last five six years and quite involved.

Jeffery Amazing! Absolutely amazing! You’re like the sensei, I love it. All the things that you’ve just talked to are absolutely brilliant. So one thing about you that no one would know?

Michel: That I’d never, again, I know everybody knows everything about me but let’s say something that you wouldn’t suspect you know. I write books. You know, people know because if you write books you want them to know but in general, people that work with me in business woul