08/15/2014 12:41 EDT | Updated 10/15/2014 05:59 EDT

Caisse portfolio returns 6.7 per cent in first half of 2014

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec posted a return of 6.7 per cent for the first half of 2014 amid stronger  Canadian equities and a "robust" U.S. economy.

"Overall, world markets improved, due in part to lower interest rates,"  said Michael Sabia, president and CEO of Caisse. "Canadian equity regained momentum and made up for some of the sluggishness of recent years by outperforming the other markets."

Quebec's large pension fund manager reported an annualized return of 11.1 per cent over four years, just slightly surpassing their their benchmark of 0.2 per cent. 

Caisse said their clients' net assets increased by $14.6 billion to $214.7 billion, which is primarily driven by investments, rather than new deposits.

Challenges ahead

La Caisse's CEO expressed his concern with a possible impending slump in growth. "The investment environment will become increasingly demanding," said Sabia. "The challenges ahead include modest and fragile global economic growth, high geopolitical risks, the level of interest rates and, more generally, the normalization of monetary policies."

The pension fund reported that equities account for 48 per cent of its portfolio, with 36 per cent in fixed income and 16 per cent in inflation sensitive investments.

New leadership

La Caisse also announced on Friday the appointment of Christian Dubé as executive vice-president for Québec. In this newly created role, Dubé will focus on investment strategy, by "galvanizing the province's economy by fostering the growth and development of Québec companies."

Christian Dubé will start his role on September 15.​