Barry F. Lorenzetti, CIP
President, CEO and Founder, BFL CANADA, Montreal, QC
Barry F. Lorenzetti has followed his dreams of owning his own company and has built the largest employee-owned and operated commercial insurance brokerage and consulting services firm in Canada. Through hard work and exceptional leadership, “Barry has literally changed the face of brokerage in Canada,” says his nominator.
Barry began his career in 1970 as a trainee with J.H. Minet and Co. Inc. in London, England. He remained with the brokerage upon his return to Montreal, and in 1975, became the first Canadian Officer of
the Company. By 1987, he was ready to form his own firm, B.F. Lorenzetti and Associates (today BFL CANADA), with the vision to grow it into a Canadian-made industry powerhouse.
Ahead of his time, Barry understood the true power of specialization and positioned BFL as a niche market leader, beginning with film and television, and marine. With organic growth and targeted acquisitions, the firm emerged as an important player in the Canadian landscape, and was able to attract and retain talented individuals. Today, BFL has a wide range of experience in all economic sectors and competes with major U.S. brokerage firms.
As founder, President and CEO, Barry has created a share structure that creates succession and equity opportunities for key performers and ensures that employees have a vested interest in the company and its future. He continues to discourage foreign ownership and rejects offers of loans or of involvement from foreign-based insurers.
Although BFL is a large company, it continues to have a family atmosphere, which permeates its day-to-day operations. A good work life balance is very important to Barry and he hopes to ensure that his 400+ employees nationwide are happy both at work and at home. He keeps his office door open and is willing to talk to his employees about personal matters. “He is a man before the businessman,” states his nominator. “He continues to play different roles, from a trusted friend to a generous father, but above all, he is, for most of us, a true mentor.”
The key to Barry’s success may be his unwavering ability to learn from not only his successes, of which he has had many, but also his failures. By admitting that things can be improved, he has been able to keep changing and making things better. For example, when BFL was unsuccessful in securing the hire of two niche market leaders, Barry reviewed and reworked BFL’s recruitment strategies. While in the last 5 years there has been an overall softening of the insurance market, BFL continues to experience double digit top line growth and a solid return to shareholders.
Barry sits on the board for the Hockey Canada Foundation, which provides secure, sustainable and long-term funding for Hockey Canada programs, projects and activities. BFL is a Platinum Sponsor of the Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf event, which has raised more the $3.5 million in the last 8 years. BFL is active in Hockey Canada, Skate Canada, and other hockey-related community support initiatives.
In 2012, Barry was an honorary chair of the Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer fundraiser, in support of the Princess Margaret Hospital and the Canadian Cancer Society. Barry is also supportive of the performing arts, and is currently involved in the planning stages for a new theatre in the Eastern Townships. He supports the Montreal Symphony and brought the Orchestra to Knowlton for the 2009 Knowlton Music Festival.
It gives the CIP Society immense pleasure to recognize Barry F. Lorenzetti as an Established Leader in 2012.