Roger Lemoyne for The Logic
The Big Read

Swagger chez nous: Caisse’s Thomas Birch has $5.7 billion under his belt and a chip on his shoulder

Espace CDPQ feels like a startup that hit big. Located in Montreal’s Place Ville Marie, the investment and development hub is 55,000 square feet of glass and gleaming white spaces—think 2001: A Space Odyssey with spiral staircases, a coffee bar and the whiff of institutional money.

Huddled behind a desktop in the well-lit confines of his fourth-floor workstation, Thomas Birch watches the collective weight of $1.5 billion swish around the market. As global managing director of venture capital and technology for the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the province’s public pension fund manager, part of his job is to pan the lot of 853 mostly North American software companies for the gold they might produce, given proper time and capital.

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