CDPQ names new strategic analysis exec

The Canadian pension has tapped former president of Air Canada Pension Investments Jean Michel to succeed Bernard Morency.

Canada's Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has hired Jean Michel as executive vice president for advisory services to depositors and strategic analysis, the pension fund said in a statement.

As president of Air Canada Pension Investments, whose assets exceed C$17.5 billion ($13.1 billion; €11.9 billion), Michel developed the investment strategy and oversaw all investment activities of the airline's 14 pension plans, including the in-house management of more than half the assets.

In his new role, Michel will be responsible for managing the relationship with CDPQ's clients, advising them on their portfolios. He will also be involved in overseeing investment strategies, in collaboration with Roland Lescure and Claude Bergeron, respectively the pension fund's chief investment officer and chief risk officer.

“Jean Michel has deep expertise in managing pension funds and a solid investment track record, which will enable him to broaden advisory services and collaboration with our clients,” said Michael Sabia, CDPQ's president and chief executive, to whom Michel will report. “With Jean Michel joining our team, we also plan to refine our strategic analyses and strengthen our market intelligence.”

Before joining Air Canada Pension Investments in 2009, Michel held a number of positions at consulting firm Mercer, including that of team leader for Eastern Canada and head of strategic investment research.

He succeeds Bernard Morency, who joined La Caisse in 2007 and has served as executive vice president since 2009. According to a CDPQ spokesperson, Morency will continue his relationship with La Caisse as a special advisor.

Based in Montreal, La Caisse serves 32 depositors – primarily public and private pension and insurance funds in the Canadian province. The pension fund invests across a range of asset classes including fixed income, equities, real estate and infrastructure. As of 31 December 2015, its assets under management totalled C$248.0 billion.