(Bloomberg) — Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec hired Yana Watson Kakar, a former consultant and chief executive officer of a blank-check company, to be head of Americas and lead its New York office.
Kakar will join Canada’s second-largest pension global as managing director, according to a statement reviewed by Bloomberg News. She will also oversee offices in Mexico and Sao Paulo. About 40% of the firm’s C$402 billion ($297 billion) under management was in the US as of the end of last year, up from 28% five years earlier
“The Caisse is without a doubt one of the truly great global investment houses,” Kakar said in an interview. “They are known for the way in which they constructively invest in order to generate sustainable returns over the long term.”
Kakar, who grew up in Ottawa and studied at Montreal’s McGill University, will help expand the pension fund’s portfolio in private equity, fixed-income, real estate, infrastructure, technology and equity markets.
“I think that renewables provide a really compelling area of investment for CDPQ,” Kakar said about growth opportunities in the US. “It’s certainly not restricted to that. There’s such an enormous amount of infrastructure investment happening.”
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Kakar, 47, had been CEO of Growth for Good Acquisition Corp., a blank check company that announced a merger with an electric vehicle technology company called Zero Nox Inc. in March. She’ll start the new role in the next few weeks after the transaction closes, she said.
Marc-Andre Blanchard, the head of CDPQ Global, said in a statement that Kakar has a “track record as an inclusive business leader, commitment to sustainable investing and deep experience at the intersection of the public and private sectors.”
CDPQ, which employs more than 1,500 people worldwide and more than 20 employees based in New York City, is particularly active in private equity, credit and fixed-income.