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Aug 12

Managing a Pension Fund Through a Crisis

Webinar with David Denison, Jim Leech and Henri-Paul Rousseau

Sponsored by:

Join the C.D. Howe Institute on Wednesday, August 12 to hear the leaders of Canada’s largest pensions funds during the 2008-2009 economic crisis discuss what it took to safeguard Canadians’ retirements through the recession, and share their thoughts on managing a pension fund through the coronavirus crisis.

C.D. Howe Institute events and webinars are open to members and their guests.

Please follow this link or contact events@cdhowe.org to register.

David Denison, Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (2005-2012)

David F. Denison is a corporate director with extensive experience in the financial services industry. He served as President and CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (an investment management organization) from 2005 to 2012.

Prior to that, Mr. Denison was President of Fidelity Investments Canada Limited (a financial services provider). He has also held a number of senior positions in the investment banking, asset management and consulting sectors in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Mr. Denison serves as a member of the Investment Board and International Advisory Committee of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, the China Investment Corporation International Advisory Council and co-chairs the University of Toronto Investment Committee. Mr. Denison earned bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Education from the University of Toronto, is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Fellow of CPA Ontario. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2014 and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University in 2016.

Mr. Denison is a director of BCE and Bell since October 2012. He is also a director of Royal Bank of Canada and Chair of Element Feet Management Corporation.


Jim Leech, Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (2007-2013)

Jim Leech is the 14th Chancellor in the 17-year history of Queen's University.

Jim Leech retired in 2014 as President and CEO of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, one of the world's largest plans.

Previously, Mr. Leech was president and CEO of Unicorp Canada Corporation, one of Canada's first public merchant banks, and Union Energy Inc., then one of North America's largest integrated energy companies.

Mr. Leech is a Senior Advisor with McKinsey and Company, chairs the Mastercard Foundation and the Institute for Financial Sustainability, serves as chair emeritus of Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation, is the Honorary Colonel of 32 Signal Regiment, Canadian Forces and was a founding director of Right To Play International.

In 2013, he co-authored The Third Rail, Confronting our Pension Failures, a best-selling book that received the 2013-2014 National Business Book Award.

In 2010, Mr. Leech was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2014 was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada.

Mr. Leech holds a BSc (Hons. Math and Physics) and a Honorary Doctor of Laws (LL’D) from the Royal Military College of Canada, an MBA from Queen's University, and is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors.


Henri-Paul Rousseau, Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (2002-2008)

Henri-Paul Rousseau holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Economics from the Université de Sherbrooke. He continued his studies at the University of Western Ontario, where he received a Ph.D. and the T.M. Brown Award for the best thesis in economics.

When he returned to Quebec, he began an academic career in 1973 at the Université du Québec à Montréal, and then, in 1975, at Université Laval, where he became Chair of the Department of Economics in 1984. He also acted as an advisor to the Canadian and Québec governments. More specifically, he was Director of Research and co-author of the Report on Savings in Québec released in 1980. As an expert advisor to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, Trade and Economic Affairs, he also co-authored an economic impact analysis released in 1985 as part of the White Paper on Personal Taxation.

In 1986, Henri-Paul Rousseau joined the National Bank, where he held several strategic positions, including Senior Vice-President, Treasury and Financial Markets. From September 1990 to April 1991, he served as Secretary of the Bélanger-Campeau Commission on the Political and Constitutional Future of Québec. He was head of Boréal Assurances from 1992 to 1994 and then became President and Chief Executive Officer of Laurentian Bank of Canada before being appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, a position he held from September 2002 to May 2008.

From January 2009 to the end of December 2017, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Power Corporation of Canada and Power Financial Corporation. He is also a Director of several companies, including Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial and their subsidiaries, as well as Putnam Investments in the United States. He was a Director of the Global Financial Markets Association from October 2010 to July 2014.

Henri-Paul Rousseau has served on the boards of Santander Bank since 2015, Santander Holdings USA since 2017 and Banco Santander International since 2020; he has been Chairman of Noovelia since 2018.

In 2004, Concordia University awarded him an honorary doctorate and he was elected to the Academy of Great Montrealers in the Economic Sector in 2006. That same year, on the fringe of the Entretiens Jacques Cartier – a forum for exchanges on major societal issues - the Université Lumière Lyon 2 awarded him an honorary doctorate. In 2007, the Université de Sherbrooke and Université Laval awarded him the same distinction. He received the medal of Commander of the Order of Montreal in 2016 and was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2018.

Henri-Paul Rousseau has been personally involved with several social and cultural institutions and in the education and health sectors by leading several fundraising campaigns. In addition, he has been a volunteer with the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation for more than 20 years, including nine years as Chairman of the Board of Directors, a position he held until July 2018. He was a member of the selection committee for the Apogee Canada 2015 and 2016 Research Excellence Fund.

Since 2012, Henri-Paul Rousseau has chaired the Tremplin Santé Foundation, which he created to encourage healthy lifestyle habits with young people in Quebec and Canada. Since 2010, he has been founding co-chair, with businessman Charles Sirois, of Réseau QG100, a private non-profit organization whose goal is to contribute to the growth of winning companies in Quebec by accelerating their growth worldwide.

Henri-Paul Rousseau is Adjunct Professor at HEC Montréal, Visiting Professor at the Paris School of Economics, Visiting Fellow of CIRANO and Senior Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute. He is also an organic maple syrup producer in Dunham, Quebec.


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