Usually in this column, I introduce you to entrepreneurs. Little entworse this week to tell you about a woman who supports their economic growth in Quebec.
Kim Thomassin oversees investment in local businesses, while having the objective of producing returns for the woolen socks of Quebecers.
As Senior Vice-President and Head of Quebec at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, she is one of the Caisse's senior executives who are making headlines these days because they are benefiting from a 27% increase in compensation – far beyond galloping inflation!
"Even though I campaigned with Effect A to remove the taboo on wages and invite women to negotiate, I still have discomfort talking about it myself," she admits.
Earlier in the interview, we talked about the values that guide her. She cited authenticity, integrity, caring and camaraderie. She said she wanted to do good around her, to have a positive impact.
I had to ask her what connection she could make between the common good and this dizzying increase in wages paid by taxpayers.
Of course, there was the official answer: performance, very competitive sector, managers whose skills are in demand, need to attract talent. But she also had these words:
“I'm embarrassed to tell my parents how much I earn because I'm very privileged. But it allows me to give back. »
At least, the answer does not have the arrogance of that of the chairman of the Board of the Caisse, Jean St-Gelais, who considers the $ 6.3 million compensation of CEO Charles Émond to be “quite decent”.
I thought her a bit rare as a woman at the head of a large investment portfolio, but she tells me about Rana, Nathalie, Geneviève; other colleagues in a decision-making position in the investment.
"We realized at the start of the pandemic that we were a constellation of women," she said. And that's important for recruiting, because it helps to persevere when there are role models. »
Kim Thomassin is also sorry that her 15-year-old daughter leans for law rather than finance or science, sectors where women are less present. However, the law leads to everything and she is proof of this, since she had a career as a lawyer before joining the investment team at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec a few years ago.
She led sustainable investing until last February and has no regrets about the decision to get dollars out of oil and gas companies by the end of 2022, even though current returns are excellent due to soaring prices. .
“We will not change our convictions based on short-term fluctuations. Everything that is green, we are very present – we are one of the largest global investors in renewable energy – and these are very good investments, ”she says.
Embrace the risks
She would like to leave the mark of a person who cared about others. Her interest in human beings almost made her a doctor. With no regrets about her journey, if she could give the 18-year-old Kim one piece of advice, she would tell her to trust herself and embrace risk earlier in her life, to plan less and seize opportunities along the way.
This is undoubtedly what is at the origin of her admiration for the entrepreneurs she supports; they have this audacity that took longer to assert itself in her.
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Profile of Kim Thomassin