Michael Sabia, president and chief executive officer of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, is stepping down from the role in February 2020.
During Sabia’s 11 years as head of the Caisse, its investments have yielded a 9.9 per cent average return, with a heavy focus on the diversification and globalization of its assets.
“Leading CDPQ for nearly 11 years has been the greatest privilege of my career,” he said in a press release. “Throughout this period, my goal has been to realize the full potential of this unique institution to benefit the people of Quebec. I know that I am leaving [the Caisse] and its people in a strong position to seize the many opportunities that lie ahead for them as I move on to my next challenge.”
Robert Tessier, the Caisse’s chairman, praised Sabia’s efforts and leadership, especially during some of the challenging financial markets during his tenure. “Courageously stepping up to the challenge of leading [the Caisse] in 2009 following the financial crisis, Michael and his team step by step have rebuilt the organization and repositioned it with new ideas, while creating international career opportunities for Quebec’s finance professionals.”
The many milestones of Sabia’s leadership include the Réseau express métropolitain, which marked the first time a Canadian pension fund manager designed, built and operated a public transit system, according to the release. Another major feature is the Caisse’s efforts to address climate change; earlier this year, it announced it intends to have a carbon-neutral portfolio by 2050.
As for his personal future, Sabia has accepted an offer to lead the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.