Thursday, April 9, 2009

Caisse president unloads stock options to avoid conflict of interest

Caisse president unloads stock options to avoid conflict of interestMichael Sabia, head of Quebec's Caisse, will unload stock options he earned as president of BCE. (Ian Barrett/Canadian Press)

The new boss of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec says he has decided not to hold onto stock options he earned while head of Bell Canada Enterprises.

Michael Sabia, president and CEO of the Caisse, announced Thursday evening that he will give up the options he acquired as president of BCE.

On Thursday, Parti Québécois officials suggested Sabia could be in a conflict of interest if he kept the options. The PQ questioned whether it would be appropriate for the head of the Caisse to have a financial interest in BCE, which is a direct competitor of one of the pension fund manager's major holdings, Vidéotron.

In a statement, Sabia announced that he and the Caisse's legal advisers are setting up a blind trust for his assets and that he will divest himself of his BCE stock options.

Sabia took over management of the Caisse in March.