As Power Financial Corp.'s investments in financial technology expand, the company is bringing on Adam Felesky to oversee its venture capital activity.
Mr. Felesky, former chief executive officer of Horizons ETF Management (Canada) Inc. who has become active in the Canadian startup scene, is set to take on investment responsibilities for Power's growing fintech investment group, according to people familiar with the plans.
As parent company to insurer Great-West Lifeco Inc. and investment company IGM Financial Inc., Power Financial has been an active investor as the financial services industry grapples with the threat of disruption from new technology. Last April, the company invested $30-million in robo-adviser Wealthsimple. And in May, IGM invested $50-million (U.S.) in U.S. digital wealth adviser Personal Capital Corp., with the option to put an additional $25-million into the business in the future.
Since leaving Horizon in January last year, Mr. Felesky has been busy working with – and investing in – startups, and some of these activities have crossed over with Power Financial. Both parties invested in Koho Financial Inc., which is developing mobile app that would let consumers pay for purchases, and automate bill payments and savings.
Mr. Felesky was also an investor in online lender Borrowell Inc., which received a $6.4-million investment from Power Financial, Equitable Bank and Hedgewood Inc. earlier this year.
Power Financial and executive co-chairman Paul Desmarais Jr. have been among the early supporters of fintech investments in Canada. Other insurance companies and banks have also increasingly been zeroing in on investment opportunities in tech upstarts that focus on changing the way consumers buy financial services, pay for goods and invest their money.