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Canadian pension fund giant Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is losing a key executive as it tries to rebound from its first investment loss in more than a decade.

Macky Tall, head of the Caisse’s real assets and private-equity units as well as its CDPQ Infra subsidiary, has resigned from his positions, the pension fund manager said in a statement on Monday. He’ll stay until the end of the year and start a new job in the spring after a “cooling-off period,” the Caisse said.

In a separate release, The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm based in Washington, announced Mr. Tall will become co-chair of its infrastructure business. “We see tremendous opportunity in infrastructure given the growing demand for private capital for essential assets and look forward to benefiting from his deep expertise,” Carlyle said.

Mr. Tall was among the candidates to replace Michael Sabia as Caisse chief executive officer earlier this year, but former Bank of Nova Scotia investment banker Charles Emond was chosen. Mr. Tall also served on the Caisse’s executive committee and investment-risk committee and was chairman of the board of directors of its Ivanhoé Cambridge real estate subsidiary.

The Caisse in August reported a negative return of 2.3 per cent for the first half of the year, its first investment loss since the financial crisis more than a decade ago. Net assets fell to $333-billion at the end of June from $340-billion at the end of December as the pension fund manager vowed to speed up a pivot to more promising real estate holdings and boost investments in technology companies.

Through CDPQ Infra, the pension fund acts as an infrastructure developer by providing integrated management of the planning, financing and construction phases of a project. Its biggest project under way is Montreal’s Réseau express métropolitain (REM), a 67-kilometre light-rail system with 26 stations.

The Caisse said last month that commissioning two branches of the REM network would be delayed, one of them up to 18 months. An unexpected detonation of century-old explosives inside the Mount Royal Tunnel during the summer forced the use of new safety measures. Construction teams also concluded that de-icing salt used for years on McGill College Avenue has degraded the structure of a section of the tunnel and it needs to be reinforced.

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