March 5, 2009 / 7:13 PM / in 9 years

Quebec names new head of troubled Caisse fund

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian province of Quebec named a former business executive and bureaucrat on Thursday to head its troubled public pension fund, which posted a record multibillion-dollar loss in 2008.

<p>A woman walks out of the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec head office in Quebec City February 25, 2009. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger</p>

The new chairman of Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec is Robert Tessier, the former chief executive of gas distributor Gaz Metro LP and a one-time senior provincial bureaucrat.

“He will bring to the Caisse all the stability it needs,” Quebec Finance Minister Monique Jerome-Forget told a televised news conference in Quebec City.

Last week the Caisse -- Canada’s largest pension fund -- announced it lost $39.8 billion in 2008.

Although the fund blamed the global financial crisis and the slumping Canadian dollar, Jerome-Forget said last week the fund had to do a better job of managing risk.

The Caisse is an arm’s length agency that manages investments for various public and private pension plans in the predominantly French-speaking province.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson

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