President and CEO of Caisse depot et Placement du Quebec, Charles Emond, has acknowledged the failure of an investment in Celsius Network, a bankrupt cryptocurrency lending company. The institution considers its investment in the company of about 200 million Canadian dollars already lost.
“These are investments that I consider written off because we are always cautious in our estimates,” Mr. Emond explained during a press briefing on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Fund’s results presentation. for the first half of the year. He stressed that Caisse is now evaluating its “legal options”.
“No one in the Foundation, primarily myself, is satisfied with the outcome of this case,” Mr. Emond regrets. “However, we must not lose sight of the fact that this is an exception in our venture capital portfolio, a portfolio that has been performing – with a return of 35% per year for the last five to seven years,” he elaborated.
“Due diligence is not always a guarantee of success,” said the President and CEO of Caisse. However, the groups responsible for the analysis and due diligence of these investments will be held accountable, Mr. Emond said.
The President and CEO of Caisse acknowledged that the institution “arrived too early in the transition sector, with a company that has had to cope with extremely rapid growth, even a growth crisis.”
As a defense, Mr. Emond recalled that Caisse is not the only institution involved in the crypto-assets sector, citing in particular the case of US-based BlackRock, a global leader in asset management.
“We were interested in harnessing the potential of blockchain technology, as well as helping to regulate this sector. It is clear that everything did not happen as expected, ”he admitted.
Last October, Caisse invested $150 million, or approximately 200 million Canadian dollars, into the Celsius Network. However, the company filed for bankruptcy in July, almost a month after freezing the assets of 1.7 million of its members.