Some of the brave comments that were made at the time of Michael Sabia’s appointment as CEO of the Caisse aren’t ringing so true today. One, from Michael Sabia himself, was that he had other job offers from overseas that he turned down to take this job at the Caisse. Another was that Michael Sabia was the perfect person to head of the Caisse, since he could play hard ball with the private equity firms he would be going up against. Mind you, that argument never made any sense, in light of Michael Sabia’s fiasco at taking BCE private, after the backroom role he played with Ottawa in killing the more viable alternative of converting BCE into an income trust.
Today we learn that Micahel Sabia is so desperate to hang on to this new job appointment, that he is willing to waive the first two years of bonuses at the Caisse and forego any pension entitlement. (beyond the rich pensions he will already receive from the Government of Canada and BCE).
Questions: Were his alternative job offers that bad? Or did they even exist? Is this considered hard ball negotiations or desperation? Meanwhile how do any of these concessions being offered up by Michael Sabia deal with the fact that he is singularly unqualified to run a $100 billion pension, given that this is $100 billion more in pensions assets than he has ever managed in the past. How do these concessions address the fact that the process by which he was selected was a complete farce, with only two people interviewed for the job?
The simple answer is that it does not. These concessions being offered up by Michael Sabia are simply an admission by him, that he is neither qualified for this role and nor was the process by which he came by it legitimate. Both aspects are an insult to the professionals who work at the Caisse or the people whose money is being managed by the Caisse.
Perhaps, in making these monetary concessions, Michael Sabia is telling us that he is willing to engage in a reverse auction for this job. The lowest comp package wins. Qualifications mean nothing. If that’s the case, then at least the process itself can be enhanced this time around, and the bidding should be moved over to Ebay, where any number of unqualified persons can be given a shot to bid for this most important role?
Sabia surrenders Caisse pension, bonuses
Quebec pension fund chief tells chairman he'll relinquish rights as controversy grows over the speed of his appointment
BERTRAND MAROTTE AND RHÉAL SÉGUIN
Globe and Mail
March 27, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Posted by Fillibluster at 1:13 PM