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Announcement of the winners of the 16th Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec - Bank of America Merrill Lynch Economic and

Announcement of the winners of the 16th Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec - Bank of America Merrill Lynch Economic and Financial Journalism Awards of Excellence

First prize: Suzanne Dansereau, Les Affaires Second prize: Stéphanie Grammond, La Presse Third prize: Hélène Baril, La Presse

MONTREAL, Jan. 17, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - At an official ceremony held yesterday evening at the Centre CDP Capital, the Association des économistes québécois announced the names of the winners of the 16th Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec - Bank of America Merrill Lynch Economic and Financial Journalism Awards of Excellence. Three grants totalling $17,500 were handed out. This prestigious competition aims to publicly recognize journalists who cover business and financial news for their role in providing information and analysis and making it understandable.

The first prize, along with a $10,000 grant, went to Suzanne Dansereau from Les Affaires for her series of stories "Comprendre le Plan Nord." The winner of the second prize, earning a $5,000 grant, was Stéphanie Grammond of La Presse for her story "Des hausses d'impôt salées pour les plus riches." Finally the third prize and $2,500 was presented to Hélène Baril of La Presse for her story "Japon : l'autre tsunami."

Close to 60 applications from some 15 media outlets were submitted for this 16th instalment of the awards competition. The jury was chaired by Bernard Barrucco, General Manager of the Association des économistes québécois, and comprised Claude Beauchamp, journalist and former host of Capital Action (broadcast on RDI), Alain Guilbert, journalist and former President of Transcontinental Publications Inc., and Marie-Agnès Thellier, President and CEO of the Cercle des présidents du Québec and former Business Editor of Le Journal de Montréal.

"It's been 16 years since we created these awards. We are proud to see how their reputation and credibility have grown over time, and how important they've become to the journalism and business communities," said Deep Khosla, Managing Director and Head of Québec Regional Operations at BofA Merrill Lynch in Canada. "The past year saw a particularly abundant range of financial and economic news stories, which resulted in exceptional reporting. Every day, journalists play a vital role in the economic life of Québec, and we are honoured to be celebrating their contributions this evening."

For his part, Michael Sabia, President and CEO of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, said: "Journalists specializing in financial and economic reporting play an essential role and have a responsibility to simplify complex issues. This becomes even more crucial in an increasingly volatile, turbulent and interconnected world like ours." Mr. Sabia continued: "Although it is true that institutions in the financial sector and the various economic players must change to better adapt to this new environment, the challenge for journalists becomes even greater: explaining the fundamental trends that will profoundly alter our way of comprehending the economy and the world. It is through these thorough analyses and by encouraging the diversity of opinions that the best journalists stand out and influence the fundamental debates. The Caisse is proud to partner with these awards, which help encourage journalistic excellence."

And Mario Gosselin, President of the Association des économistes québécois, said: "I would like to thank the members of the jury, who once again had their work cut out for them, given the extremely high standard of the stories submitted this year. These awards are not only a way to publicly acknowledge journalistic excellence; they also serve to promote economic knowledge in Québec, which is perfectly in keeping with the mission of our Association."

About the Awards partners The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is a financial institution that manages funds primarily for public and private pension and insurance plans. At December 31, 2011, it held $159 billion in net assets. As one of the leading institutional fund managers in Canada, the Caisse invests in the main financial markets as well as in private equity and real estate.

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions. Bank of America Merrill Lynch focuses on middle-market and large corporations, institutional investors, financial institutions and government entities.  It provides innovative services in M&A, equity and debt capital raising, lending, trading, risk management, research, and liquidity and payments management. Bank of America Merrill Lynch serves clients in more than 150 countries, and has had a major presence in Québec for over 50 years.

The Association des économistes québécois is the main organization linking economists in Québec and is dedicated to the professional advancement of its 700 members. Its primary objective is to foster the development and dissemination of economic knowledge, to enlighten public debate and to provide support for the role of economists. In keeping with its slogan, "Pour des choix éclairés" (For enlightened choices), the Association is recognized increasingly as a credible and impartial opinion leader in economic debates. Founded in 1975, it is a dynamic association open not only to economists but to anyone interested in economic and financial issues.

Valérie Gonzalo 514 626.6976


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-0- Jan/17/2013 12:30 GMT

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