Governance experts wonder how Caisse de dépôt was able to invest $200 million in Celsius when it was on the verge of bankruptcy, according to Vermont financial authorities.
• Read also: Caisse partner accused of building a Ponzi scheme
“What kind of due diligence exercise does the fund do? If I get it wrong in this company, have I done it in other companies?” asked Robert Beaulieu, ESG-UQAM instructor.
“If there are too many other cases like this, trust in the Caisse de dépôt could be undermined,” worries Donald Rendeau, CEO and co-founder of the Institute for Trust in Organizations (ICO).
“It was written in black and white in the Vermont authorities’ report that Celsius was making false statements,” said Saidato Decaux, a professor of accounting sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM).
Last July, Celsius Network was already accused in the United States of developing a “Ponzi scheme”.
“It is not possible that Caisse experts did not see that it was a company in a bad financial position,” notes governance expert Sedato Deco.
After asking Le Journal several times, Caisse always wanted to be reassured with money from Quebec’s wool socks.
“Every investment in CDPQ is subject to careful analysis,” he assured us.
Last March, Quebec’s auditor general was scathing in its two remarks about the institution.
“The framework for preventing and detecting certain risks that could affect the fund’s reputation should be strengthened,” could we read.
It added that “key steps in the investment process have not always been implemented in accordance with the policies and guidelines for preventing and detecting significant risks, particularly those related to conflicts of interest.”
In October 2021, Newspaper They asked Caisse for a risk assessment report on the investment in Celsius, but they refused to provide it.
Claude Mikhail, Director of Administrative Law and Head of the Department of Access to Information, replied: “You will certainly understand that the document referred to is a report whose content includes information that provides information on investment strategies in CDPQ.”
join Newspaper Yesterday, the fund did not want to comment on the case.
“We are continuing our work on our legal options,” spokeswoman Kate Moonfit said, hinting at a possible outcome in court.
last July, Newspaper It reported that the vice president of Caisse de Depot et placement du Québec was heading a company in which Celsius’s chief, Alex Mashinsky, had invested, but the fund denied any “real or apparent conflict of interest.”
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