La Caisse publishes its 2015 Annual Report

MONTRÉAL, April 14, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec today released its annual report for the period ended December 31, 2015. In addition to a detailed analysis of the financial results announced on February 24, the report provides a complete review of la Caisse's activities. Below are the highlights:


  • Annualized return of 10.9% and $89.0-billion increase in net assets as a result of net investment results of $81.6 billion and net deposits of $7.4 billion.
  • Each of the four asset classes contributed significantly to la Caisse's overall four-year return, which outperformed its benchmark portfolio by 0.9 percentage points. This difference represents $8.0 billion of value-added.
  • The returns of the eight main clients ranged from 9.3% to 12.2%.


  • Overall return of 9.1% and increase in net assets of $22.2 billion, as a result of $20.1 billion of net investment results and $2.1 billion of net deposits.
  • La Caisse's overall return for 2015 outperformed its benchmark portfolio by 2.4 percentage points, representing $5.4 billion of value-added. This level of performance has been achieved only twice in 20 years.
  • The returns of the eight main clients ranged from 8.1% to 10.5%.


  • Strategy based on four pillars, each with several achievements:
    • Growth of businesses, with la Caisse furthering the growth of several Québec companies, including WSP Global, D-BOX, Fabritec and Agropur Cooperative;
    • Innovation, with investments in innovative companies and funds that specialize in innovation, such as Lightspeed, XPNDCROISSANCE and iNovia;
    • Projects with impact, including the implementation of CDPQ Infra and the study of two electric public transit systems for Montréal, as well as the launch of three major downtown real estate projects;
    • Entrepreneurial initiatives that led to the launch of two major projects in 2015 – Espace CDPQ and Devenir Entrepreneur – to ensure that many more strong businesses are able to enhance the economy.
  • New investments and commitments totalling $11.2 billion over four years, including $2.2 billion in 2015.
  • Total assets in Québec of $59.7 billion and partnerships with close to 550 SMEs through direct and indirect investments.


  • Absolute risk remained at a moderate level throughout the year, without any major fluctuations. It was slightly higher than one year earlier, rising from 23.9% to 24.2% of net assets (p. 50).
  • Strengthening of risk management governance, including a review of the mandate and rules of the investment committees supported by the Risk group (p. 54).
    • La Caisse's high standards for risk management governance were recognized in 2015 by Moody's, which gave it an excellent grade for transparency and disclosure of its governance practices and principles.


Review of the features of the compensation program that came into effect in 2010:

Main objectives

  • Pay for performance by taking into account returns generated for clients and a sustained performance over several years.
  • Offer competitive compensation to attract, motivate and retain employees whose expertise enables la Caisse to reach its strategic objectives.
  • Align the interests of employees and clients over the long term.

Implementation and application

  • Rigorous benchmarking of reference markets by a recognized firm, Towers Watson.
  • At the request of the Board of Directors, a validation of the fair application of the compensation program was performed by Hugessen Consulting, an independent firm recognized for its expertise in the compensation of pension fund personnel (p. 102).
  • Review of each employee's performance based on a rigorous process to determine the incentive compensation to which the employee is entitled (p. 98).

Mandatory co-investment thresholds

  • To better align employees' interests with the sustained long-term success of la Caisse, a significant portion of the total incentive compensation of some groups of employees is deferred over a three-year period.
  • To remain at the forefront of the industry's best practices, the minimum thresholds that must be paid into a co-investment account were increased significantly in 2013 for employees with a direct influence on la Caisse's organizational and financial performance:
    • At least 55% of the total incentive compensation of members of senior management (up from 40% before 2013) – or more than half of their incentive compensation – thereby strengthening the alignment of officers' interests with those of clients and making this measure even more stringent than current industry practices;
    • 35% of the total incentive compensation of Senior Vice-Presidents, Vice-Presidents and intermediate and senior investment employees (up from 25% before 2013);
    • 25% for other high-level managers and professionals.
  • The deferred amounts to be paid in 2018 in respect of 2015 will be increased or decreased according to la Caisse's average absolute overall return during this period.

Incentive compensation

  • The purpose of the incentive compensation program is to compensate a sustained performance over a four-year period.
  • Taking into account incentive compensation, the total compensation of la Caisse's employees in 2015 was below the median of the reference markets, for an annualized return of 10.9% over a four-year period, corresponding to $8.0 billion of value added versus the benchmark portfolio (p. 101).
  • The total incentive compensation paid in 2016 for the period ended December 31, 2015, was $48.6 million (including senior management).



Annual return

Annualized return

Incentive compensation paid



9.0% (3 years)

$35.3 million



10.0% (4 years)

$38.9 million



9.6% (4 years)

$39.9 million



10.9% (4 years)

$48.6 million


  • This year, as part of the incentive compensation program, employees (including senior management) deferred $26.3 million until 2018.
  • The incentive compensation co-invested under the incentive compensation program introduced in 2010 was paid in 2015, pursuant to the conditions of the program and the tax rules in effect. The amounts co-invested in 2012 by the five most highly compensated executives who report to the President and Chief Executive Officer are provided in Note 1 on page 110 of the 2012 Annual Report.

Compensation of the President and Chief Executive Officer
Base salary and direct compensation

  • At his request, Mr. Sabia has received no salary increase since he was appointed in 2009. His base salary remained unchanged in 2015 as it will in 2016.

Incentive compensation and co-investment

  • In accordance with policies that emphasize achievement of la Caisse's business objectives and its performance, this year the Board of Directors is of the opinion that "Mr. Sabia performed remarkably well, exceeding his objectives by a wide margin" (p. 104).
  • Mr. Sabia waived any form of incentive compensation for 2009 and 2010; accordingly, he did not participate in the co-investment program during those years. In 2015, he received a deferred incentive compensation amount, which was based on the amounts co-invested in 2012 and la Caisse's solid performance over three years.
  • Of his 2015 incentive compensation, Mr. Sabia was paid $1,122,000 and elected to defer $1.82 million to the co-investment account. This amount will be increased or decreased according to la Caisse's average absolute return over the three-year period ending in 2018.

Pension plan and severance pay

  • When Mr. Sabia was appointed, he waived membership in any pension plan for the duration of his mandate. He also waived any severance pay.

All details relating to the compensation of the President and Chief Executive Officer and the five most highly compensated executives appear on pages 105 to 110 of the Annual Report.


  • In 2015, la Caisse's ratio of expenses to average net assets was 18 cents per $100, a level that compares favourably to that of its industry.
  • Expenses cover operating expenses, including compensation and external management fees.


  • La Caisse's responsible investment activities are based on the major components of its policy:
    • Inclusion of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria (p. 76);
    • Shareholder engagement (p. 77 to 79);
    • Other engagement activities (p. 79).
  • In 2015, various actions were taken under this policy, for example:
    • La Caisse exercised its right to vote on 38,743 proposals in connection with 3,505 shareholder meetings (p. 76);
    • Organization of an annual conference on long-term investment from a responsible investment perspective, which drew approximately 115 participants from Québec, Canada and Europe (p. 77).

The electronic versions of the 2015 Annual Report and the 2015 Annual Report Additional Information are available at the following addresses:

Please note that only the French version in currently available. The English version will be available shortly.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at December 31, 2015, it held $248.0 billion in net assets. As one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.


SOURCE Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

For further information: Maxime Chagnon, Senior Director, Media and Public Relations, +1 514 847 5493,


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