Michael Sabia leaving Caisse to head University of Toronto's Munk School

The chief executive of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is stepping down from the pension fund manager to become head of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

The Quebec fund manager says Michael Sabia is leaving at the beginning of February, a little more than a year earlier than expected.

“I know that I am leaving the Caisse and its people in a strong position to seize the many opportunities that lie ahead for them as I move on to my next challenge,” Sabia said in a statement on Tuesday.

He has served as president and chief executive at the Caisse since March 2009.​​​​​​

Sabia, who was not available for interviews, also noted that leading the unique Quebec institution has been “the greatest privilege” of his career.

Before joining the investment fund, he was chief executive of BCE Inc.

Caisse chairman Robert Tessier says it has retained the services of an international firm to search for Sabia’s replacement and planned to complete the process at the beginning of 2020, with the appointment of a successor approved by the government.

Sabia was appointed to head the Caisse after it was shaken by the 2008 financial crisis, which resulted in $40 billion of losses the previous year.

Under his guidance, the Caisse says it has produced “solid and sustainable returns” of 9.9 per cent over 10 years, while the size of its net assets has almost tripled to $326.7 billion by June 30.

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