Kevin Uebelein to Depart AIMCo in Mid 2021

Barbara Shecter of the Financial Post reports that AIMCo chief will leave early as fund positions for 'pivotal' challenges:

Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMCo) chief executive Kevin Uebelein will step down early, most likely by July 2021, once the $119-billion public asset manager concludes a freshly launched search for his replacement.

Uebelein has been CEO since the beginning of 2015, and assets managed by the Crown Corporation have grown by nearly 42 per cent during his tenure.

But he was also at the helm when a volatility trading strategy caused $2.1 billion in losses as the coronavirus pandemic roiled markets earlier this year, which prompted the board of directors to conclude in June that risk management controls were “unsatisfactory” and that a culture change was needed at AIMCo.

In an exclusive interview with the Financial Post this week, Uebelein said he and the board concluded that AIMCo needs a leader with a fresh perspective and a horizon of several years as it faces down “long-term pivotal issues.” These include how to deal with the economic turmoil and recovery from the pandemic and the impact it will have across various asset classes and geographies, and on long-term liabilities.

“We decided now was the right time,” Uebelein said, acknowledging that a mid-2021 transition would be before his contractual obligation to AIMCo is set to expire.

It’s “a very modest acceleration” of the succession timeline, he said, adding that he believes his successor will also have a key role to play in the evolution of AIMCo’s relationships and collaboration with clients.

“When we think about the challenges presented to long-term investors like pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, or insurance companies … it calls for ever-increasing and improving collaboration between those clients and organizations like AIMCo,” he said.

Mark Wiseman, chair of AIMCo and also of the board committee overseeing the hunt for a new CEO, said Uebelein was not asked to leave and will remain in charge of implementing the 10 recommendations contained in the board’s report on what went wrong with the VOLTS volatility trading program. Those recommendations broadly target risk-management across the organization.

“We have full confidence in him to implement all those recommendations,” said Wiseman, who was CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board between 2012 and 2016.

“Obviously the VOLTS situation is one that’s regrettable (that) we don’t want to repeat,” Wiseman said.

In June, Uebelein told the Financial Post the volatility program had been completely wound down and some AIMCo employees had left the organization since the losses were incurred over several days in March.

“The VOLTS-specific changes are already done and dusted,” he said this week.

Wiseman declined to say whether the change in leadership is also intended to prepare AIMCo for a possible influx of money if Alberta goes ahead with an idea under consideration to remove the province’s contributions from the Canada Pension Plan and instead invest them through the provincial asset manager.

In September, the Alberta government began accepting bids for a contract to study the pros and cons of opting out of CPP and setting up a provincial retirement plan — including the cost and structure of the potential Alberta Pension Plan.

“We leave policymaking to politicians and policy makers. This is a decision for the Alberta government to make,” Wiseman said.

Under a controversial bill passed by Alberta’s United Conservative Party late last year, AIMCo is already taking on investment management duties for the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund. Combined with other public investment funds being tucked into AIMCo, this amounts to more than $30 billion in additional assets under management.

Uebelein said the recent addition of three clients — the Alberta Teachers’ retirement fund, the investment portfolio of Alberta Health Services, and the investment portfolio of the province’s workers’ compensation board — would boost AIMCo’s assets under management by more than 25 per cent.

“To be honest, we have to scale regardless,” Wiseman said.

“There is a strong belief that I and the entire board share in the power of a strong public asset manager and in that regard, irrespective of what takes place around the potential for Alberta to split from CPP or not, Alberta needs, deserves, and should have a world-class public asset manager.”

AIMCo’s board is being transparent about the search for a new CEO and timing of the leadership changeover because, though it might have been preferable to wait until a successor is found, “you can’t do a search process in this day and age without it becoming public,” Wiseman said.

It will be a broad international undertaking, with candidates both inside and outside the asset manager considered for the top job, he said.

Wiseman and Uebelein worked together previously at the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, an institutional investor rights group, and they said AIMCo is intent on creating the kind of smooth and well-thought-out CEO transition plan that the CCGG pushes corporations to adopt.

“The world is changing fundamentally … for us and our clients,” Wiseman said. “This is all about looking forward. (AIMCo) can and will be even better in the decades ahead and it’ll grow from the strong foundation Kevin has helped put in place.”

Andrew Willis of the Globe and Mail also reports that AIMCo CEO Kevin Uebelein is stepping down in wake of $2.1-billion loss:

The chief executive officer of Alberta’s $119-billion, government-owned fund manager is departing in the wake of a $2.1-billion loss this year that was traced to flaws in the Crown corporation’s risk management and corporate culture.

Kevin Uebelein, CEO of the Alberta Investment Management Corp. since 2015, will leave by the end of June, 2021, the Edmonton-based fund manager said Wednesday. AIMCo director of communications Dénes Németh said: “This decision is Kevin’s. His natural term ending date is in the not-too-distant future, and accordingly he believes that the board should begin the search for his successor now.”

AIMCo invests on behalf of 31 clients, including pension plans for provincial government employees and Alberta’s $17-billion Heritage Savings Trust Fund. The fund manager lost $2.1-billion on trading strategies linked to market volatility in the spring and early summer. The investments performed far worse than expected as stock markets plunged, then rallied as the pandemic hit North America. AIMCo significantly underperformed peers during this period.

An independent audit commissioned by AIMCo’s board subsequently concluded the fund manager’s investment and risk management systems were at fault. In a report, the board said: “The breadth and depth of risk governance controls, collaboration and risk culture, while evolving and improving over the past 2-3 years, are still unsatisfactory.”

AIMCo appointed a new chairman in June: former Canada Pension Plan Investment Board CEO Mark Wiseman. Shortly thereafter, AIMCo vice-president of public equities Peter Pontikes and portfolio manager David Triska departed. Both oversaw the volatility trading strategy.

In October, AIMCo recruited a new chief risk officer, Andrew Tambone, the former chief investment officer of the Workers’ Compensation Board – Alberta. The fund manager also created a new role, a chief investment strategy officer who reports to the CEO, and hired Bank of Montreal veteran Amit Prakash, who oversaw alternative asset strategies as a managing director at BMO Global Asset Management.

The executive is turning over as Alberta Premier Jason Kenney moves forward with plans to bring the independently run, $18-billion pension plan for provincial teachers into AIMCo, a move the teachers’ union opposes. Mr. Kenney’s government has also begun a study into moving Alberta’s contributions to the Canada Pension Plan into a new provincial pension, and AIMCo has been discussed as a potential operator of such a plan.

“AIMCo faces several important inflection points, including the integration of important new clients and responding to and recovering from a tumultuous global economy,” Mr. Uebelein said in an internal e-mail to AIMCo staff and clients on Wednesday. “These factors, and others, will take years to fully address and accomplish. For this reason, I believe that now is the right time for identifying the next chief executive.”

Mr. Uebelein’s compensation totalled $2.8-million last year, making him one of the best-paid civil servants in Alberta. Public filings from AIMCo clients show the fund manager was one of Canada’s worst-performing pension plans in the first three months of 2020, and has consistently missed performance benchmarks.

The $3-billion Special Forces Pension Plan for police officers, an AIMCo client, reported in early June that its fund was down 12.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year, compared with a 6.7-per-cent decline in their benchmark. AIMCo posted a 10.2-per-cent loss on a $50-billion portfolio belonging to its largest client, a fund for health care and municipal workers called the Local Authorities Pension Plan, or LAPP. The average Canadian pension plan lost 8.7 per cent of its value in the first three months of this year, according to consulting firm Mercer.

In addition to losses on volatility-linked strategies, filings from clients show AIMCo turned in poor results in the first three months of the year in stock, bonds, real estate and private equity investments. Last year, LAPP said AIMCo’s results fell short of the pension plan’s value-added expectations for 46 consecutive quarters, or 11 years 6 months.

In April, Mr. Uebelein apologized for the losses on volatility trading, and said in an open letter: “Let me be clear, the performance of this investment is wholly unsatisfactory, and AIMCo’s board and management share the frustration and disappointment of our clients, their beneficiaries and all Albertans.”

Janet French of the CBC also reports CEO is leaving AIMCo in wake of $2.1-billion investment loss:

The CEO of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation is leaving the organization by the end of June 2021 in the wake of AIMCo's heavy investment losses earlier this year.

Kevin Uebelein, who has held the top AIMCo post since 2014, has agreed with the board to "begin now the process of CEO leadership transfer," AIMCo spokesperson Denes Nemeth said in an email Tuesday.

"AIMCo remains in very capable hands with Kevin continuing at the helm until that date and he has the full support of the board and management as he continues to advance the many priorities before us," Nemeth wrote.

Uebelein was paid $2.8 million in compensation in 2019 and $3.4 million in 2018, according to AIMCo's annual reports.

AIMCo, a provincial corporation, manages the investments of several provincial government funds, including the Heritage Savings Trust Fund. It also invests money in the pension funds of more than 300,000 Alberta public sector workers.

AIMCo has been under scrutiny since the spring, when investment managers lost $2.1 billion on a risky investment strategy known as VOLTS. The strategy cost the Heritage fund $411 million, and was partly responsible for Alberta's nest egg hitting its lowest value in eight years this spring.

The losses prompted AIMCo's board to order an external review, and the corporation pledged to improve.

In June, the reviewers found internal challenges to investment decisions, risk controls, collaboration and risk culture within the organization were "unsatisfactory."

Senior leaders at AIMCo didn't have enough information, fast enough, about the potential risk to their investments, the reviewers concluded. They said AIMCo needed a culture change to prevent future losses.

AIMCo could manage future provincial pension plan

The corporation has been under additional public and political scrutiny since the United Conservative Party government passed a bill in 2019 requiring the Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund to use AIMCo as its investment manager. About 83,000 current and retired teachers are affected by the change, which is expected to be complete in 2021.

Bill 22 also required three large public sector pension plans to use only AIMCo as their investment manager. It also gave the government the right to reject potential nominees to pension plan boards.

Finance Minister Travis Toews has said the moves would allow AIMCo to add substantially to the $119-billion worth of assets it manages, which would bring economies of scale. He said teachers and taxpayers would save investment management fees if AIMCo took charge of the investing.

The government is also exploring the option of creating a provincially run public pension plan and pulling Alberta out of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). An Alberta-run pension plan could be managed by AIMCo.

In September, the government issued a request for proposals for a contractor to study the potential risks, benefits and requirements of establishing a provincial pension plan. If the benefits outweigh the risks, the government has said it would put the question to a provincial referendum in 2021.

The moves have generated pushback from the public and sparked campaigns advocating government stay away from pensions. NDP labour and immigration critic Christina Gray tabled a private members' bill earlier this year that sought to stop the moves, but it was dismissed by the government.

On Tuesday, Gray said Uebelein's departure raises questions about the advice AIMCo has given the government about consolidating more assets under AIMCo's control.

In July, Gray and her caucus colleagues delivered to the premier's office a list of 36,000 names signed on petitions advocating a halt to the pension changes.

"Albertans are so concerned about retirement security, about being forced to use AIMCo, and about this government's move toward leaving the Canada Pension Plan, which has been stated by the government, involves AIMCo," Gray said.

Gray said AIMCo should be more transparent about the causes and consequences of the $2.1-billion investment loss.

The future of AIMCo

Nemeth said AIMCo's board is immediately starting an international search for a new CEO, and will consider candidates inside and outside the organization.

Nemeth said Uebelein's departure was his decision, not the board's.

"His natural term ending date is in the not too distant future, and accordingly he believes that the board should begin the search for his successors now," he wrote.

He did not provide a date for the end of his term, or information about any potential severance payments.

Uebelein hasn't indicated his future plans, he said.

There have been other changes to AIMCo's executive team since the losses first became public in April. Two other senior leaders left the company in June, and the names of three other executives have disappeared from AIMCo's senior team page on its website. This month, the corporation announced a new chief financial officer, new chief risk officer and the promotion of a vice-president of responsible investment.

Lastly, Leanna Orr of Institutional Investor also reports that AIMCo CEO Kevin who oversaw massive vol losses is stepping down:

Alberta Investment Management Corp. CEO Kevin Uebelein is on his way out, having led the public fund as it lost billions on wayward volatility trades and became the center of bitter political battles between the province’s far-right government and its own unionized clients.

AIMCo managed C$119 billion in pension assets, sovereign wealth, and other public money for Alberta’s civil servants and citizenry as of the end of last year.  

“Kevin and the board have agreed to begin now the process of CEO leadership transfer, with the goal of completing this process by June 30, 2021,” after which Uebelein will step down, AIMCo’s communications director told Institutional Investor in an email Friday.

He characterized the decision as Uebelein’s.

“A successor has not yet been named,” the director went on. “The board has struck a CEO recruitment committee, to be chaired by AIMCo Chair Mark Wiseman, and is commencing the search process immediately with an aim to have a candidate in place no later than June 30, 2021. The search will be a broad international undertaking, with candidates both inside and outside the organization considered for the role.”

Canada’s Financial Post first reported the departure plans.

II broke the news of AIMCo’s massive volatility trading losses in April. Uebelein would later attempt to downplay the damage — arguing the fund lost $2.1 billion rather than $3 billion, and blaming markets — but the situation became a province-wide scandal and source of outrage.

AIMCo staffers created and ran the now-defunct volatility program, which involved highly complex trades and esoteric derivatives prone to misuse, experts told II at the time.

Some believed that they were effectively getting free money. Banks were paying to shift risk off their books in order to pass stress tests regulators imposed after the last financial crisis. But, the thinking went, the insurance would never actually pay out, because such a dramatic crash had never happened.

In trader-speak, these kinds of deals are called “selling the small puts” and are often described as picking up pennies in front of a bulldozer.

“Selling the small puts is a beginner’s mistake,” Gontran de Quillacq, a vol market veteran, told II in April. “Anybody with experience in options and volatility trading knows that those ‘century-rare’ events happen every few years — much more frequently than the simpler math would tell you. It’s a guarantee. How often should you play Russian roulette? How about with three bullets?”

Uebelein, of course, was not the trader in charge of these decisions, nor did he initiate the strategy. But the scale of the losses, and decision to shut down the program at its deepest nadir, suggest a grave lapse in oversight and governance, according to experts. “It’s really too bad,” said one Canadian pension insider. “Kevin Uebelein should know better.”

AIMCo did not say what, if anything, Uebelein plans to do next.

The investment organization “remains in very capable hands with Kevin continuing at the helm until that date and he has the full support of the board and management as he continues to advance the many priorities before us,” the communication director said. 

Alright, it's Monday and I decided to tackle this news early this week.

Let me brutally honest, I will not hold back in this comment and will not pander to Canada's powerful pension bosses who tend to stick together through thick and thin.

But I'm also not going to just criticize AIMCo's outgoing CEO and will give you a much better and much more detailed and balanced analysis than what you read in the media.

Speaking of the media, there's a reason Barbara Shecter of the Financial Post first broke this story, she's tight with AIMCo's Chair of the Board Mark Wiseman and he reached out to her to carefully control the spin of the story. 

More on that later. First, I did reach out to AIMCo CEO Kevin Uebelein and Mark Wiseman last week to give them a heads up and ask them if they had anything to share.

Kevin Uebelein emailed me back promptly sharing this:

Thanks for your note. As you can imagine, I am extremely busy between the usual day job (annual budget season here!) and this news. But I did want to respond to you with just a few personal observations, as I know you understand this Canadian pension landscape as well as anyone.

One of the most important jobs of a company’s Board and its CEO is to ensure that leadership transition is well-planned, smooth and is part of the very long-term strategy for the company’s perpetual growth and success.

The AIMCo Board and I discuss leadership and succession issues at every single Board meeting. It is an integrated part of our HR Committee discussion, and in recent months I had openly discussed my own observations and views that the best timing for identifying the next generation of CEO was approaching, as AIMCo continues to work on pivotal issues that will have lasting long-term impact on our clients and on AIMCo. This timing, as it happens, aligns pretty closely with the Board and my existing high-level plans for generational transition, as I enter my seventh year as AIMCo’s CEO. And so, it was my observations and opinions that led us to this decision to embark now on the process of identifying the next CEO for AIMCo.

A few more observations I’d make:

First, we are making this announcement now as a part of our commitment to our core value of transparency. It might’ve been tempting to keep this process private for a while, but that’s not how we like to work. And besides, the rumor mill in these parts is highly efficient, and I’d rather be proactive on a message like this, than to have it spread by any other means.

Second, to quote Monty Python: “I’m not dead yet!” I will continue to be the fully licensed card-carrying CEO until the next leader is appointed.

Finally, as I’ve been sharing this news with the folks with whom I work, I’ve also been sharing that this decision – though I know it is the right one for AIMCo – is made with a heavy heart. I really love AIMCo, its people and its purpose. But, sometimes what’s best for an organization is not exactly what one personally wishes for, and this is one such instance.

I thank Kevin for sharing this with me and approving that I post it publicly. I have no doubt that he loves AIMCo, its people and its purpose.

Was the decision that he departs at the end of June next year entirely his? There I have my doubts and I will be open and honest about this.

I have covered AIMCo's 'VOLTS fiasco' in detail on this blog:

Let me be honest, while I understood why Peter Pontikes, AIMCo's former Vice-President of Public Equities and David Triska, the former quantitative portfolio manager who ran the volatility based strategies were the first casualties, I knew there were more heads that were going to roll.

Mark Wiseman was named AIMCo's new Chair of the Board in late June and he had to read a bunch of things, including Barb Zvan's internal report which was never made public to understand what went wrong.

All this to say, while the dismal failure of VOLTS wasn't the only reason behind Kevin Uebelein's departure, it certainly didn't help and everyone knows this wasn't a unilateral decision made by AIMCo's CEO. That's just nonsense.

Mark Wiseman and AIMCo's entire board had their say. But Mark Wiseman being a decent guy and knowing Kevin well helped manage his exit properly so it doesn't look worse than it already does.

Remember, Mark Wiseman was ousted from BlackRock after failing to disclose a 'consensual relationship' with a colleague. 

In my opinion, Larry Fink, BlackRock's CEO, didn't handle that departure particularly well and chose to make a very public example of Mark who to his credit, took full responsibility.

Anyway, that experience undoubtedly factored into his decision to handle Kevin's departure in a much more decent way.

The shame of this is that AIMCo's vol blowup has received a lot more attention than it truly deserves and it tarnishes a lot of good things Kevin Uebelein did during his tenure there.

I've only met Kevin once, found him to be a nice guy but was surprised he was named to succeed Leo de Bever at AIMCo. Why? Because he didn't have the experience at a large Canadian pension to assume such a role.

But I quickly learned that Kevin's strengths were Leo de Bever's weaknesses, and chief among them is he surrounded himself with top people and leaned on them a lot and gave them room to run (Leo was the smartest guy in the room and tended to often suck the air out of the room, had a hard time relinquishing control).

The guy Kevin Uebelein leaned on the most in investments is Dale MacMaster, AIMCO's CIO. 

Dale is an exceptionally bright CIO, he and I have had a few conversations over the years, typically going over the annual results, and I can tell you the truth, they were almost right about VOLTS but the market had the final say and that program was rightly shuttered (in a way, it was good that volatility spiked to an unprecedented level because it exposed the weaknesses in VOLTS, and there were plenty).

But I want to make it clear, there's a lot more to AIMCo than VOLTS and it is completely unfair to judge Kevin Uebelein, Dale MacMaster, or anyone else there solely on the failure of one investment program that succumbed to extreme market volatility.

Importantly, under Kevin's watch, AIMCo's senior managers invested well across public (minus VOLTS) and private markets and they might not have outperformed their peers but it wasn't because of VOLTS, it was because their private equity program isn't as mature as the ones at their large peers.

This brings me to my other points.

I still maintain that Alberta' Government made the right decision amalgamating the Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund and AIMCo. There was a lot of talk of 'hijacking' the ATRF and while it is a great organization, I always steadfastly agreed with this decision.

I totally disagree with that NDP critic who thinks they need to reverse Alberta's public pension changes. With all due respect, she doesn't know what she's talking about and using the failure of VOLTS to justify reversing these changes is just plain stupid.

Having said this, I vehemently disagreed with Alberta' Government on opting out of the Canada Pension Plan and still do. 

That strategy is about as dumb as the Alberta Government's coronavirus strategy which I predicted on Linkedin weeks ago would be a total disaster. Unfortunately, I've been proven right as Alberta is doing the second worst in the country on a per capita basis  (Manitoba is the worst) and they really need to rethink their approach to COVID-19 (expect an announcement as early as tomorrow).

Lastly, who will replace Kevin Uebelein as CEO of AIMCo?

My money is on André Bourbonnais, PSP Investments' former CEO who left that organization to join Mark Wiseman at BlackRock where he still is. He is extremely close to Mark from his days at CPP Investments and is a clear front-runner to succeed Kevin Uebelein at AIMCo.

But Bourbonnais had mixed reviews during his short time at PSP, some telling me he was an "unmitigated disaster" who turned that place upside down, while others saying "he was no worse than Gordon" (Gordon Fyfe who left PSP to become BCI's CEO).

I don't know André Bourbonnais well. Only met him once, he seemed nice but all these people seem nice when you first meet them.

I know he was in the running to succeed Michael Sabia at the Caisse and was a favorite front-runner at one point, but apparently he walked out of a meeting with government officials after refusing their terms and that was the end of that.

There are other candidates apart from André Bourbonnais, however, both men and women.

Among "Leo's short list", I'd include many people like Andrew Claerhout, OTPP's former Head of Infrastructure and Nicole Musicco, IMCO's former head of Private Markets, but there are plenty of others and they can come from within AIMCo (like Dale MacMaster) or from within the the Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund.

Who knows, I'd even include David Long, the former CIO of HOOPP who is Canada's foremost derivatives expert. With him at the helm, I'd reinstate a new and improved VOLTS.

All this to say, while André Bourbonnais is a clear front-runner, it's by no means a done deal and this isn't Mark Wiseman's decision, the entire AIMCo board has to back him up (but he carries the most weight).

By the way, Mr. Wiseman has some very strong opinions on what Ottawa needs to do to bolster growth in light of the pandemic and I tend to agree with him but being a conservative at heart, I want to see clear measures of success when it comes to spending taxpayers' dollars.

Long gone are the days of spending for the sake of spending, the Liberals need to prove to me and a lot of Canadians that they are worthy of holding office, and right now, they sure don't have my vote or confidence (quite the opposite, we are on the wrong path).

Anyway, you can follow Mark Wiseman on Twitter here and I assure you he doesn't tweet as much as Trump or yours truly. 

Today, I noticed he will be part of a free virtual event sponsored by the Canadian Club of Toronto featuring Alison Loat, Managing Director of Sustainable Investing and Innovation at OPTrust, Veronica Chau, Partner and Director of Sustainable Investing & Social Impact at BCG and Gerald Butts, Vice Chairman of Eurasia Group.

While I'm not a big fan of Gerald Butts (truth be told, I think he and Chrystia Freeland are both lightweights when it comes to making solid long-term policies), I do like Alison Loat and think highly of Mark who is an expert on ESG investing.

These days, things are getting very bubbly in some ESG stocks but the discussion will be more in-depth and they will discuss “greenwashing” and other topics, so mark your calendar for Wednesday, December 9th at noon.

Let me end by wishing AIMCo's CEO Kevin Uebelein all the best and if there's anything he needs to be covered from now until his departure, he knows where to find me.

Below, Mark Wiseman's friend, Blake Hutcheson was the guest at the Empire Cub of Canada on Friday discussing observations and reflections he gained during his first hundred days at the helm as President and CEO of OMERS. Taking on this role at OMERS during the COVID pandemic has given Blake new insights into what it means to lead an organization managing direct investments on five continents, on behalf of its more than 500,000 members. Take the time to watch the clip below.

Also, Dan Kelly, president & CEO of CFIB, joined BNN Bloomberg to discuss Ontario's latest lockdown restrictions and why he believes this is the worst COVID-19 policy he has seen from the government to date. He's absolutely right, Ontario's COVID-19 policy is a travesty, a step above Alberta's asinine policy. Watch it here if it doesn't load below.

Lastly, I embedded a great TED Talk featuring wheelchair athlete Dean Furness. He shares how, after losing the use of his legs in an accident, he discovered a powerful new mindset focused on redefining his "personal average" and getting better little by little. Great talk, take the time to watch this, will give you much needed perspective and he provides great insights on life.

Update: A friend of mine emailed me to ask me: “What about Mark Wiseman? He’d make a great CEO, he’s young, smart and it pays better than being a Chair.” I agree, didn’t think of Mark right off the bat because he’s the Chair but he’d make a great CEO. Of course, if he’s interested in the role, he’d have to step down as Chair and recuse himself from the search committee. 

Also, on Tuesday morning, I received an email from someone who worked at PSP during André Bourbonnais's tenure, defending him against my "unsubstantiated accusation" that he was an "unmitigated disaster" at PSP. 

This person wants to remain anonymous but cited Bourbonnais's many accomplishments at PSP, including beefing up Private Equity significantly, introducing Private Debt as an asset class, opening up international offices and drastically improving diversity at all levels of the organization. 

I think it's only fair that I include all views here. I thank this person for sharing their feedback and no doubt, Mr. Bourbonnais has many achievements and was brought to PSP to expand private markets.

Please note my intention was not to attack André Bourbonnais or Gordon Fyfe or anyone else, just sharing some mixed reviews on his tenure (truth is you will always have different opinions on CEOs, some good, some bad).