Two candidates rule themselves out of race to succeed Sabia at Caisse


Two potential candidates to succeed Michael Sabia at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec have distanced themselves from the idea.

National Bank of Canada chief executive Louis Vachon and Sophie Brochu, the outgoing CEO of Quebec-based energy producer Énergir Inc., both issued statements Wednesday turning down the position.

“My responsibility is to lead National Bank, and this will be my only priority over the next few years,” Vachon, 57, said in a terse press release issued by the Montreal-based lender in response to media speculation over Sabia’s successor.

In her own statement, Brochu said she was touched by her name being mentioned as a possibility.

But she added the role should be taken on by someone who is “able to draw on extensive experience in the international financial community” and who has a “solid background in the management of diversified funds.”

Sabia said Tuesday he plans to leave his position as CEO of Canada’s second-largest pension fund manager in early February. An outside search firm has been hired to help the board find a replacement, the Caisse said.

Vachon and Brochu were two of several potential successors to Sabia identified by analysts contacted by the Montreal Gazette and other media organizations.

Vachon had total compensation of $8.1 million in 2018, the most recent fiscal year for which the bank published executive pay figures. That’s more than double what Sabia made as head of the Caisse last year.

The University of Toronto said Tuesday it has hired Sabia as the new director of its Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Sabia, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political economy from U of T before completing two graduate degrees at Yale University, will oversee an institution with global ambitions.