Tel: 860.257.2165
Fax: 860.563.4877


Claire Leonardi
Chief Executive Officer

Claire manages the full array of business startup and growth initiatives that CI offers, including lending products, venture and equity investment funds, and programs to support innovation, entrepreneurship, collaboration and commercialization.

A veteran investment and venture capital executive with more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, Claire has long been passionate about helping startups, growing companies and non-profits succeed. Prior to joining CI, she offered advice on capital structure and funding, strategic planning and performance improvement to companies in upstate New York. She was a founder of Fairview Capital L.P. and held senior investment positions as Crossroads Capital, both large discretionary venture capital funds-of-funds, where she managed portfolios for large institutional clients. Claire also led strategic investments for Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Co.

In addition to her work experience, Claire gained tremendous insights into health care delivery, bioscience research and education during her long tenure as chair of the board of directors of the University of Connecticut Health Center. She also served as vice chair of the UCONN Board of Trustees.

Claire is also chair of the board of the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund and the Regenerative Medicine Research Fund. Both funds are dedicated to advancing science and driving commercialization.


  • B.A., Business Administration, Economics, Rutgers University
  • M.B.A., Finance and Entrepreneurship, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Interesting Facts

  • Favorite place: Adirondacks, Upstate New York
  • Community/volunteer work: The WildCenter (Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks)
  • Favorite hobbies: Quiet walks in the woods, baking bread (particularly baguettes), photography
  • Favorite food: Pasta

Best Advice Given

“You are responsible for your own happiness and success.”