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Infra specialist hired to head CDPQ’s legal affairs

Kim Thomassin’s energy and infrastructure background will help the Canadian pension manager continue its push into the sector.

Canadian pension manager CDPQ has hired infrastructure specialist Kim Thomassin to serve as its executive vice president of legal affairs and secretariat.

Thomassin will be responsible for all of CDPQ's legal and regulatory activities, including the legal and governance structures, when her tenure begins on 30 January, according to a statement. Her background is in the energy and infrastructure sector, specialising in project finance and transactions. Thomassin worked for 17 years at the law firm McCarthy Tétrault, leaving as a managing partner for the Québec region.

“Kim Thomassin is a true leader. Her considerable experience as a project finance and M&A lawyer, extensive network and recognised talent in building solid business relationships will be key assets for [CDPQ] as it implements its strategy in all markets where it is present,” CDPQ chief executive Michael Sabia said.

Thomassin will serve as a member of the executive committee.

CDPQ, which manages around C$254.9 billion ($194.2 billion; €182.54 billion), has recently been increasing its focus on and exposure to the infrastructure sector.

The firm announced last April it would consolidate its infrastructure investment activities and operations under the CDPQ Infra subsidiary in an aim to boost investments in the sector.

Sabia also co-authored an article with a senior director from private equity investor BlackRock in November advocating for the creation of a national infrastructure bank to incentivise private investment in the sector and boost economic growth.

Its last major deal of 2016 was the launch of a $3.7 billion investment vehicle with Dubai-based DP World to build and acquire ports around the world. The partnership was seeded with two ports on Canada's west coast, in which CDPQ paid $640 million for a 45 percent stake.