Canada Infrastructure Bank names inaugural board

The new Canada Infrastructure Bank appointed its inaugural board of directors Thursday, as the Toronto-based Crown corporation takes shape.

The bank aims to draw interest from institutional investors, particularly pension funds, to team up with the government to help create new infrastructure that will generate revenue.

Read: Government appoints inaugural chair of infrastructure bank

The board will be responsible for oversight of the bank and will play a key role in appointing a chief executive officer, according to a statement. The board is chaired by Janice Fukakusa, former chief financial officer of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Jim Leech, special advisor to the prime minister for the Canada Infrastructure Bank, feels the board offers up a wide swath of experience with members from the areas of business, infrastructure, governance and both municipal and provincial governments.

“We chose the board based on those skills, that skills matrix. We had extreme interest. There were well over 300 names, files that put their hand up and said they’d be interested, which I think is a testament to the excitement around the bank,” says Leech.

Read: Former OTTP head tapped to set up infrastructure bank

Leech says the board reflects a diverse group of both business and infrastructure experts, with a female majority, as well as representation from visible minorities and the indigenous community. “We did really well and the joy was that we didn’t have to compromise on skills to get diversity, which is very important,” he says.

According to Leech, the next step is appointing a chief executive officer, a process he says is moving quickly.

In addition to Fukakusa as the chair, the board includes:

  • Kimberly Baird, former elected chief and strategic initiatives director of the self-governing Tsawwassen First Nation;
  • Jane Bird, senior business advisor at Bennett Jones LLP;
  • Dave Bronconnier, former mayor of Calgary and president and chief executive officer of Interloq Capital Corp.;
  • James Cherry, former president and chief executive officer of Aéroports de Montréal;
  • Michèle Colpron, former senior vice-president of financial management, vice-president of investment administration and vice-president of finance and administration, private equity at Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec;
  • Bruno Guilmette, president of the advisory committee at Plan A Capital;
  • Christopher Hickman, chairman and chief executive officer at the Marco Group;
  • Poonam Puri, corporate director and professor of business law at Osgoode Hall Law School and a lawyer at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP;
  • Stephen Smith, co-founder, chair and chief executive officer of First National Financial; and
  • Patricia Youzwa, former president and chief executive officer of SaskPower and current chair of the pooled funds advisory committee at Greystone Managed Investments Inc.

Read: Report provides blueprint for government-led infrastructure investment