Bronfman firm and Caisse to invest in Israel

Stephen Bronfman

MONTREAL — The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the province’s public pension plan manager, and Claridge Inc., the private investment firm headed by Stephen Bronfman, are joining forces to take advantage of business opportunities in Israel’s thriving civil technology and innovation sectors.

They have launched Claridge CDPQ Israel, a new investment firm based in Tel Aviv, it was announced on Feb. 11.

It’s part of the Caisse’s strategy to establish a presence in high-growth countries with partners who have an in-depth knowledge of the market, said Andreas Beroutsos, the Caisse’s executive vice-president of private equity and infrastructure.

“Our participation in Claridge CDPQ Israel gives the Caisse access to a globally recognized hub of innovation,” he said. “Such an environment will offer higher returns, greatly benefiting our depositors.”

As of June 2014, the Caisse’s net assets totalled $214.7 billion, according to its public information, making it one of the largest institutional fund managers in North America.

The new venture will also give Quebec companies greater access to Israel’s technology industry, Beroutsos added.

Claridge president and CEO Pierre Boivin said: “We are putting in place the necessary infrastructure and capital to develop investment opportunities in technology companies with high growth potential that have succeeded in reaching the marketing stage. The partnership with the Caisse fits perfectly in our common strategic and patient investment philosophy.”

Claridge CDPQ Israel will be headed by Oded Tal, an Israeli who previously held the position of chief investment officer at Claridge in Montreal from 2000 to 2008. Until recently, Tal served as managing director and head of mergers and acquisitions for Leumi Partners, the investment banking arm of the Leumi banking group.

“We are confident that the partnership between Claridge and the Caisse, combined with Mr. Tal’s expertise, will add to the significant business experience and sustained community investment of the Bronfman family in Israel,” said Stephen Bronfman, executive chairman of the company’s board of directors.

“Together, these factors are crucial ingredients in a winning recipe that will benefit parties in both Quebec and Israel.

Founded in 1987 by Stephen’s father Charles Bronfman, Claridge today manages a diverse portfolio that includes investments in food, entertainment, real estate, energy and technology industries.