News release COVID-19

CDPQ joins the collective effort during the COVID‑19 crisis

Finance Montréal,
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  • $4-billion envelope to support Québec companies temporarily impacted by the crisis
  • Philanthropic and community donation of $300,000
  • Salary freeze for 2020 and payment of 2019 variable compensation for CDPQ leaders postponed to the third quarter
  • Postponement of variable compensation for senior executives and maximum co-investment until 2022

With the world facing an unprecedented crisis related to COVID-19, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) joins the collective effort with the announcement of various initiatives.

An envelope dedicated to Québec companies

As an investor, CDPQ is creating a $4-billion envelope to support Québec companies temporarily impacted by COVID-19. This support is intended to complement the various initiatives that other financial institutions, Québec institutional investors and the governments of Québec and Canada have announced.

The funds will be used to address the specific liquidity needs of companies, whether or not in CDPQ’s portfolio, that meet certain criteria, including having been profitable before the COVID-19 crisis, having a promising growth outlook in their sector and seeking financing of over $5 million. Eligible companies will be able to use these investments to weather this turbulent period until the economy recovers and support and advance their recovery plans once the crisis is over.

In addition, as it does every day with its portfolio companies, CDPQ will continue to deploy the financial and operational expertise of its teams to help the selected companies in developing innovative and structuring financial solutions. These solutions could include various financial instruments based on companies’ needs in the current conditions.

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“It’s essential for CDPQ to join the collective effort during the COVID-19 crisis. The envelope announced today, and the personalized advice that our teams provide to portfolio companies, represent important contributions to Québec’s economy in these difficult but temporary circumstances. This initiative is a good example of our two-fold mission to meet the needs of our depositors and support Québec’s companies and economy,” said Charles Emond, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ.

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Companies that wish to request financing are invited to fill out the form at www.cdpq.com/en/form-covid-19. After CDPQ receives the form, companies will quickly be contacted by telephone to obtain further information and assess the request.

In addition, all CDPQ teams, in Québec and around the world, are currently mobilized and continue to manage Quebecers savings with rigour in these unique times.

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“The world and the markets are facing a major health and economic crisis. We’re closely monitoring our portfolio and the various asset classes through the COVID-19 crisis. As a long-term investor, we have built a diversified portfolio that is designed to generate returns that meet our depositors’ needs over the long term. While not immune to the economic consequences of this historic pandemic, CDPQ is solidly positioned, even after what happened in recent weeks on the markets, as we have the liquidity necessary to weather the current storm and what may come in the future. We have a fair amount of flexibility; we are able to clearly identify risks, and therefore take cautious and progressive action when the time is right to seize the opportunities that such conditions may have to offer,” added Mr. Emond.

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Philanthropic and community donation

CDPQ also wishes to support the numerous organizations that directly address the basic needs of the most vulnerable people, as these organizations are currently facing significant challenges. To provide support and help them maintain essential services or expand their reach, CDPQ is donating $300,000, to be divided among five organizations:

  • Centraide of Greater Montreal’s Emergency Fund, dedicated to the most vulnerable people;
  • Canadian Red Cross, for its Community Support Services;
  • Little Brothers, who especially work with the elderly in need;
  • Tel-jeunes, which supports young people and parents with free and confidential professional counselling services;
  • Alloprof, which provides valuable educational support services for parents.

Salary freeze and postponed variable compensation

Given current economic conditions, CDPQ has decided to freeze the salaries of all leaders in the organization and its subsidiaries.

The payment of variable compensation to CDPQ leaders for 2019, which takes into account the solid results of the last five years and forms part of their total compensation, as is standard in the financial industry, will be postponed until the third quarter of 2020. This measure also applies to our subsidiaries’ leaders.

In addition, the members of the Executive Committee have decided to postpone and co-invest the maximum variable compensation possible for a period of three years, i.e. until 2022, as of January 1, 2020. These postponed amounts will rise and fall in tandem with CDPQ’s returns, clearly demonstrating their trust and commitment to executing the organization’s mission and their full solidarity with what our depositors are experiencing in these extraordinary times. 

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ABOUT CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET PLACEMENT DU QUÉBEC

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, 2019, it held CAD 340.1 billion in net assets. As one of the largest pension fund in Canada, CDPQ invests globally in financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

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