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CIO of Canada’s PSP Abruptly Resigns

Canadian public pension giant PSP Investments and Chief Investment Officer Daniel Garant have suddenly parted ways, putting the C$136 billion portfolio under President and CEO André Bourbonnais, for the time being.

  • Loch Adamson

Daniel Garant, CIO of Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board — better known as a PSP Investments — has abruptly left the organization, PSP has confirmed to Institutional Investor’s Sovereign Wealth Center.

Garant’s last day was June 30, 2017. The public asset manager gave no explanation, other than the suggestion that its investment chief “left the organization to pursue other career aspirations.” PSP has removed Garant from its website. André Bourbonnais, president and CEO of the Montreal-based fund, has assumed the role of CIO for now.

The investment leadership turnover comes as a surprise, since PSP Investments recently released strong financial results for the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2017. The portfolio delivered a net return of 12.8 percent and generated $15.2 billion ($11.8 billion) of net income. PSP Investments’ assets under management finished the year at a record high of C$135.6 billion.

Garant took over the CIO role in July 2015, rising up from a nearly seven-year tenure as head of public markets. He had focused his attention as investment chief on implementing a new total-portfolio framework. This tool was designed to allow the team to break down assets into constituent risk factors, such as sensitivity to inflation or interest-rate fluctuations, and aggregate data across dissimilar holdings — from a Chilean power-transmission grid to a Toronto office tower.

“The process involves making sure we’re looking at the whole portfolio to understand how it will react to react to specific developments,” Garant told the Sovereign Wealth Center in July 2016. “This has not really been done before, at least not at the scale we’re doing it here.”

Garant joined PSP Investments in 2008 from Hydro-Québec, where he served as CFO for the public utility company. Before joining Hydro-Québec, he managed private-market portfolios for the Canadian state-owned pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

Loch Adamson is the director of the Sovereign Wealth Center, Institutional Investor's specialist SWF data and analysis service.