On May 17, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal hosted its very first talk with Kim Thomassin, Executive Vice-President and Head of Québec of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ).
During this talk, Ms. Thomassin discussed how CDPQ’s support impacted businesses in terms of growth and sustainability. Here’s an overview of this event.
Staying on track in an uncertain economic climate
From the outset, Kim Thomassin highlighted CDPQ’s record investments in Quebec businesses despite the uncertainty arising from geopolitical tensions, weakened supply chains and runaway inflation.
“As a global investor, CDPQ is unique, working to benefit Quebecers. In 2021, our assets grew by $10 billion, amounting to $78 billion in Quebec—an unprecedented amount.” – Kim Thomassin, VicePresident and Head of Québec of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
Kim Thomassin took the opportunity to remind the audience about CDPQ’s mission to support businesses at all stages of their development.
“In five years, 350 portfolio companies made acquisitions outside Quebec. Performance is there. CDPQ’s investments are stimulating growth, helping internationalize businesses and creating a more sustainable economy.”
Promising projects mentioned as examples
She went on to discuss CDPQ’s impact on four concrete projects: Simons, Demers Ambulances, Nuvei and Cossette.
In 2018, Quebec company Simons partnered with CDPQ to start building a state-of-the-art, multi-service fulfilment centre to compete with major retailers. This project’s budget was $200 million, including $27 million from CDPQ.
“This is an automated fulfilment centre able to process thousands of orders daily. It’s perfectly equipped to compete with major retailers.”
In Quebec, one in three ambulances is manufactured by Demers. CDPQ helped the company develop an ambitious growth plan. As a result, its ambulances are now driven in 43 countries. The company went from 3 to 12 factories—from 250 to 1,150 employees. Of Demers’ projects, Kim Thomassin brought up one in particular whose development was supported by CDPQ—an electric ambulance perfectly adapted to the needs of ambulance attendants and patients.
“This ambulance of the future redefines standards, is fully electric and generates zero emissions.”
Nuvei is a global leader in providing payment technologies. The company received assistance from CDPQ in boosting its growth at a difficult time and carrying out its initial public offering.
“Nuvei shattered records when it went public. It’s a success story for growth and internationalization.”
Cossette, a communications and marketing agency, is a major player in the Quebec creation industry. CDPQ assisted the company with its acquisition and creation of a new digital-first, technology-enabled subsidiary, which includes dozens of international agencies and over 2,500 employees.
“The purpose of the acquisition was to become the majority shareholder and then strengthen Cossette’s position.”
Kim Thomassin concluded this talk by stressing CDPQ’s importance for Quebec and Quebecers.
“Investing in Quebec is investing in the community.”