Caisse de depot boss Sabia sees total income jump to $940,000 in 2011

MONTREAL – There was a big hike in income last year for the president of Quebec’s pension-fund manager, the Caisse de depot et placement.

Michael Sabia, president and CEO of the giant fund, earned a total of $940,000 in 2011.

His base salary was actually stable, remaining at the $500,000 level he had been earning in previous years.

However, for the first time since he began working at the Caisse in 2009, Sabia accepted a performance bonus. Sabia had previously declined any bonuses.

In 2011, Sabia was eligible for a bonus of $1.2 million; he took home one-third of that — $400,000 — while the other two-thirds have been deferred to 2014. The final payout amount depends on the Caisse’s performance until then.

Sabia earned another $40,000 in miscellaneous income.

Sabia has decided not to participate in the Caisse’s pension fund, which has produced some savings for the institution.

Four other senior managers at the fund earned more than Sabia last year. The highest was the $1.45 million paid to Daniel Fournier, head of the real-estate division.

The institution says Sabia’s salary is 43 per cent smaller than the average pay earned by his peers at other institutions, such as the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.

The Caisse fund performed relatively well last year, with four per cent growth.