Faster than a cannonball
At P3 Bulletin’s P3 Hub Canada event, hosted alongside the Canadian Council of Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) on Monday and Tuesday, Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi told delegates that a new CEO for the bank would be named “soon”.
This is certainly welcome news. Anticipation for this new tool for the market could not be higher across Canada right now and it is most certainly the hot topic for many in the industry.
That is understandable, of course. The facility is something of a double-edged sword in many ways. On one hand, it promises the delivery of a host of new deals for investors to get their teeth into. But on the other, there is the potential that the bank may signify a new method of alternative infrastructure procurement, one that could potentially crowd out P3 investors.
The latter concern has certainly done the rounds among the usual suspects. But Sohi and his colleagues have always been quick to play this concern down and sing the praises of the P3 model and its role alongside the bank. And he moved once again to do this at the Hub event.
Obviously all eyes are on the appointment of the CEO at the bank. Whoever heads up the team will have a key role in the direction it takes, so many in the industry will be keen to see someone with an appetite for P3s in the hot seat (or at least someone that truly understands how they really work).
It goes without saying, therefore, that this announcement really does need to come “soon”, as without true leadership, the bank will not really able to begin operations.
Sources at the conference expressed concern about the relatively small amount of dialogue that has occurred between the bank and investors on where the projects are going to come from.
And this is not the first time that the promise of the CEO has been held out. After all, the bank’s chair, Janice Fukakusa, told delegates at the CCPPP’s annual conference in Toronto in November that the chief executive would be named “soon”.
This slow progress is leading to some unease in the market, and it would be a shame for the bank and the industry to not get off on the right foot. After all, both can play a key role in the success of each other.
As a result, let’s hope that Sohi is right and the announcement will be coming soon, along with some lovely new deals.