“Continuity”: Bicha Ngo will take over as head of Investissement Québec in February

After appointing a friend, Guy LeBlanc, to head Investissement Québec (IQ), Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon chose the state-owned company’s No. 2, Bicha Ngo, to take over the reins.

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At a last-minute virtual press conference on Wednesday, Mr Fitzgibbon said there was “no doubt” that Ms Ngo, 51, was the best person to lead the state’s finance department. She is the first woman to become CEO of IQ.

Bicha Ngo, new CEO of Investissement Québec

From left to right: Guy LeBlanc, Pierre Fitzgibbon and Bicha Ngo. Screenshot

“I am pleased to see a competent, qualified, valued and committed woman occupying this strategic position for the economic development of Quebec,” he said.

“Continuity”

When Le Journal asked Bicha Ngo what more personal mark she wanted to leave on the organization, the manager simply replied that she wanted to implement Investissement Québec’s (IQ) latest strategic plan, to which she contributed.

Her mandate will be exercised “in continuity” with that of Mr. LeBlanc, she said.

Bicha Ngo, new CEO of Investissement Québec

Bicha Ngo Photo provided by Investissement Québec

Guy LeBlanc is retiring after spending nearly five years at the helm of IQ. He led the reform of Investissement Québec, which notably led to a doubling of the size of the institution and increased risk-taking with public funds, as well as overseeing the development of the battery sector.

“I think you can say, ‘Mission accomplished,’” the minister told Mr. LeBlanc on Wednesday.

Bicha Ngo, a graduate of HEC Montréal in Finance, has been Senior Vice President of Private Placements since October 2019. She came from Domtar, where she was vice president of corporate development for nine years. She has also worked at CIBC Capital Markets, Merrill Lynch and HSBC.

Already the highest paid at IQ

Numerous departures from the IQ executive board in recent months have seen Ms Ngo effectively become No. 2 in the organization. Under his leadership, venture capital investment activities grew significantly more extensively than before. Last year, she received higher compensation ($1.15 million) than Mr. LeBlanc’s ($1.06 million).

One of Bicha Ngo’s main tasks will be to ensure the realization of important projects in the battery sector (Ford, GM and Northvolt factories) and to continue the development of this central element of the CAQ economic program.

The leader will also face a slowdown in the economy. The Ministry of Finance already announced last week that a decline in IQ profits for the current financial year was expected due to “an increase in provisions for losses due to the decline in the value of certain investments and also a decrease in venture capital portfolios” as investment funds.

“In these times of uncertainty, Investissement Québec’s countercyclical role and high risk tolerance take on full importance,” said Ms. Ngo.


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