He was one of those discreet giants, those who participated, sometimes in the shadows, in the construction of modern Quebec. Dedicated Sherpa of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Michel Nadeau, who played a vital role for Quebec Inc., died today at the age of 75 after battling cancer.
However, nothing destined him to pursue a career in the world of finance. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in political science from Laval University, Michel Nadeau was moving more towards a more liberal profession.
But after a discussion with a McGill professor who made him understand the importance for Quebecers to take their place in the economy, he branches off and obtains an MBA, as he recently told the To have to.
It was precisely in this daily that he began his career in 1973. Economic journalist, then financial columnist, he sheds light on the successes of local businesses, snubbing the monks of Bay Street who look at Quebec with disdain. .
His arrival at the Caisse
And it is this love of Quebec and this understanding of economic issues that brought him to the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
“We didn’t have a strong entrepreneurial culture. We have developed it and we have given the tools to Quebec entrepreneurs to grow, we have created the leaders of tomorrow, ”Michel Nadeau recently confided to the Journal.
He will remain 18 years at the CDPQ and will imprint his vision, ensuring the double mission of the organization: to obtain returns, but also to work to grow the Quebec economy.
“On behalf of all CDPQ employees, I would like to underline the great contribution of Michel Nadeau in the history of this important organization that we have the privilege to serve, for the benefit of Quebecers,” declared Charles Emond, president and chief. of the management of the CDPQ. Today, it is the voice of an appreciated and relevant expert who has just died out in Quebec. “
“He was always calm. He knew he was going to be successful. It was rewarding to work with him, ”recently underlined his former boss, Jean Campeau, who had hired him in the 1980s at the Caisse de dépôt.
A journalist at heart
For Jean-Claude Scraire, who led the destiny of the CDPQ between 1996 and 2002, Michel Nadeau had retained his journalistic gaze.
“Michel remained a journalist for the daily, he always saw what was happening and asked himself every day: what can be my contribution? He did multiple actions to have an impact on a daily basis. And even when he was at the Institute of Governance (IGOPP), he helped businesses, he developed our economy, ”he said.
During this period, Michel Nadeau set up a trainee program in brokerage firms that will allow several graduates to fully understand economics and finance.
He will also play a key role in the sale of Videotron to Quebecor after blocking the transaction to Toronto-based Rogers.
“Internally, we wanted to encourage Quebecor. We knew that it was important to support the company and we had to do everything to keep an emerging technology in Quebec, ”he revealed recently.
Popularize economic issues
For journalists, he was an outstanding popularizer, an expert in governance who knew all the corners of local businesses.
“Michel Nadeau was very generous with his time and his expertise, always available to explain, contextualize and shed light on what was really going on behind closed doors. He was a fairly unique resource for economics journalists, ”said economics journalist Gérald Fillion.
For the host Georges Pothier, who worked with him for several years, Michel Nadeau had retained a humility despite his impressive career.
“To me, he was the gentleman of Quebec Inc. He knew everything that was going on, knew everyone and was respected by everyone in the business world, but never bragged about it. I will keep the memory of a good, generous and passionate man ”, he confided to us.
Pierre Karl Péladeau paid tribute to the philosophy that animated Michel Nadeau.
“If Videotron was acquired by a Quebec company, it is thanks to him. He was able to convince the political authorities of the benefits of promoting the interests of Quebec companies, ”said the President and CEO of Quebecor.
“In a way, he was a believer in the same philosophy as my father’s. The best way to become politically independent is to become so economically ”.
– With the collaboration of Pierre-Olivier Zappa, TVA Nouvelles