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Other changes to the management of the CDPQ | Martin Coiteux prepares for his release

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The game of musical chairs continues at the Caisse de depot et placement du Québec (CDPQ): member of the management committee and head of economic analysis, the former Liberal minister Martin Coiteux is preparing his exit, scheduled for next month. Meanwhile, another executive – director of investment compliance – has packed up.

This brings to five the number of decision-making positions where changes have occurred or are expected. On January 14, The Press reported that the position of head of equity markets, Helen Beck, had been eliminated and that Claude Bergeron, senior vice-president and chief risk officer, expected to retire in 2023.

“It is part of the normal course of things for changes to occur from time to time at the senior management level,” said CDPQ spokesperson Kate Monfette. It also gives us the opportunity to reflect on ways to develop our organization to better meet our business needs. »

Less than four years old

Hired in 2019 as chief economist, Mr. Coiteux took the lead the following year by becoming responsible for economic analysis and the overall strategy of Quebecers’ woolen socks. The former politician and his team advise the different sectors of the institution on investment. He is also a member of the investment-risk committee.


PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

The head office of the Caisse de depot et placement du Québec in downtown Montreal

It was at the end of 2022, a turbulent year marked by significant declines in the markets, that the main interested party announced its colors. The CDPQ affirms that the main interested party wishes to “take a break and devote himself to his family”.

“The transition has already started and we will soon announce who will replace him,” says Ms.me Monfette.

The Press was unable to reach Mr. Coiteux, who will celebrate his 61e birthday on February 5. His former colleague Carlos Leitão, Minister of Finance in the Liberal government of Philippe Couillard, suspected that there was a change in the air.

“We had met earlier this year and I knew there was movement, said Mr. Leitão, in a telephone interview with The Press. I did not have any other details. He [M. Coiteux] won’t take a break forever. He’s still young. »

Until his departure at the end of the 2018 provincial election, Mr. Coiteux had been President of the Treasury Board from 2014 to 2016 before being appointed Minister of Public Security and Minister of Municipal Affairs.

The other departure concerns Sylvain Laurent, senior director of compliance and investments for more than 21 years. He left the Caisse for a position of “specialist, compliance and risk management” at Fondaction, whose net assets were 3.25 billion as of November 30. In comparison, that of the CDPQ reached 392 billion at the end of June.

Before an update

There is change in the air within the manager of public and parapublic pension and insurance plans, which usually presents its annual results in mid-February. Performance is likely to be negative given the challenges in equity markets and the economy in 2022.

Director General of the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations (IGOPP), François Dauphin concedes that there are “several senior executives” affected by changes at the CDPQ. Cautious, the specialist believes that there are a few hypotheses at the origin of the recent departures at the Caisse.

“There had already been changes in the past two years,” says Mr. Dauphin. It may be a follow-up to what has already been done. We are also ending a tumultuous year. Perhaps there was dissatisfaction in some respects. »

MM. Coiteux and Bergeron sit on the CDPQ’s investment-risk committee. The institution did not reveal, on Monday, the complete composition of its team in this regard. In terms of due diligence, two Caisse investments have raised many questions in 2022: the investment of around 200 million in Celsius Network has already been written off. This cryptobank has been sheltered from its creditors since last July in the wake of a liquidity crisis caused by the plunge in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

In addition, the collapse of the Indian renewable energy producer Azure Power Global due to a case of irregularities and misconduct on the part of certain employees has cost the CDPQ hundreds of millions since last spring.

With Andre Dubuc, The Press

Learn more

  • – 7.9%
    CDPQ’s return for the first six months of 2022. That’s a loss on paper of 33.6 billion.

    source: Caisse de depot et placement du Québec

    – 10.5%
    The Caisse’s benchmark index at 1er semester of 2022.

    source: Caisse de depot et placement du Québec



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