La Caisse and Québec's economy must branch out globally
MONTREAL, June 2, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - On the occasion of a speech delivered to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, Michael Sabia, President and Chief Executive Officer of La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, outlined La Caisse's strategy to become a truly global organization. Mr. Sabia also addressed challenges facing Québec's economy and the vital importance for Québec businesses to adopt a global perspective in pursuit of opportunities for growth.
Mr. Sabia said that the globalization of La Caisse and Québec's economy go "hand in hand."
Mr. Sabia said that, by building on the many changes La Caisse has made over the past five years to strengthen its foundations and become more agile, the organization can now go even further by becoming a truly global organization, A globalized Caisse will be positioned to seize the best opportunities in the world to achieve solid, long-term returns.
"It is our responsibility to go out and seek returns where they are and serve as a bridge to the world for Québec's economy," explained Mr. Sabia. "This will be one of the cornerstones of everything we do over the next five years."
While competition is fierce among investors globally, succeeding in such an environment requires a deep understanding of the big picture, the major trends and the specific, regional realities. Identifying the most promising projects in the most attractive countries calls for both agility and an increasingly global presence.
"In this environment, being world smart is pivotal," said Mr. Sabia.
GLOBAL POSITIONING: A FOUR-PART PLAN
To raise La Caisse's game globally, Mr. Sabia laid out four key priorities:
- Strengthen investment teams' expertise and global orientation
- Expand La Caisse's presence in selected markets
- Identify the right partners, both regionally and globally
- Invest strategically, in line with the core trends driving the world economy.
Today, La Caisse has offices in New York and Beijing and is now planning to:
- strengthen its presence in the United States by expanding its New York office and opening a satellite office in Washington
- complete its presence within NAFTA by opening an office in Mexico, serving as a bridgehead to Latin America
- open a regional office in Singapore, which will serve as a hub for La Caisse in Asia, and eventually open branches in Mumbai, India and Sydney, Australia.
"There are many good reasons why we need a foothold on the ground," explained Mr. Sabia. "There is one reason that is particularly important to me - that our people assigned to these positions can become immersed in the business culture of these regions of the world and develop networks of contacts."
INVESTING IN QUÉBEC, GLOBALLY
While generating solid returns, La Caisse will enable Québec companies to benefit from global growth, essentially in three ways:
- identify and invest in promising Québec companies that can expand in world markets
- put its global capacities to work with exporting companies
- continue to strengthen the entrepreneurial and outward-looking culture of Québec businesses.
"We are working with our companies to increase their access to global growth, wherever it is, and enable Québec's economy to truly take its place in the world," concluded Mr. Sabia.
ABOUT LA CAISSE
La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is a financial institution that manages funds primarily for public and private pension and insurance plans. As at December 31, 2013, it held $200.1 billion in net assets. As one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers, La Caisse invests in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate, globally. For more information: www.lacaisse.com.
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