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Michael Sabia, left, chief executive of the Caisse de Depot which runs the Quebec pension fund, executive vice-presidents <strong>Normand</strong> <strong>Provost</strong>, center, and Claude Bergeron, rightRyan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Few people have put more money into Quebec companies than Normand Provost, the head of private equity at the province's huge pension fund.

Mr. Provost announced Monday that he plans to retire from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec when a new head of private equity is appointed in 2014. That will mark more than a decade in one of Quebec's most influential roles – overseeing the giant fund's attempts to profit from buying companies. Many of those investments have been in Quebec.

Moreover, in recent years, Mr. Provost also ran the Caisse's attempts to "contribute to Québec's economic development." That has involved numerous investments in every aspect of the Quebec economy, from small financings right up to the Caisse's participation in a group that tried to buy Montreal-based BCE Inc. in what would have been the world's largest leveraged buyout. (The Caisse's group was eventually outbid, and the entire deal later fell apart.)

Mr. Provost has been with the Caisse since 1980 in various roles, and Caisse head Michael Sabia lauded his "unparalleled business judgment, exceptional qualities as a negotiator and strong ability to deliver results to serve our organization, our depositors and Québec's economic development." Mr. Sabia went on to call him "on the pillars of what the Caisse is today."

(Boyd Erman is a Globe and Mail Capital Markets Reporter & Streetwise Columnist.)

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