Alfonso Graceffa, the former CEO of Otera Capital, the commercial real estate lending arm of the C$309.5 billion ($230.2 billion) Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Montreal, filed suit against the CDPQ for alleged wrongful termination.
Mr. Graceffa said in a separate release that he would be "vehemently contesting his wrongful and unjust dismissal, which has done considerable damage to his … 30-year reputation."
In response, the CDPQ said in a separate release that it would "vigorously defend the decision to dismiss (him) for cause. All facts in support of this decision will be detailed in court."
The CDPQ terminated Mr. Graceffa following a months-long investigation into possible fraudulent activity conducted at Otera Capital. Mr. Graceffa served as president and CEO of the firm until May 27.
"I have an exceptional career in the banking, finance and real estate industries that I am very proud of," Mr. Graceffa said in his release. "I have always conducted myself professionally and have consistently acted prudently and in good faith. I have never in my career received any preferential treatment or benefit."
Mr. Graceffa added: "I have never provided anyone else with such benefits. The accusations leveled against me ... do not stand up to serious and rigorous scrutiny."
The CDPQ noted that Mr. Graceffa kept confidential the complete text of his dismissal letter, which the pension plan claims identifies "serious ethical failings." The CDPQ "will ask the court to close the seal so that this document can be made public."