It is not uncommon when a company faces major difficulties that interesting opportunities arise, which can mark a career. It is still necessary to know how to recognize the nature of these problems and know how to restore the company to its rightful place.
That opportunity presented itself to Rana Ghorayeb in 2019, when she was appointed President and CEO of Otéra Capital, a real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de depot et placement du Québec. Recall that at this time, Otéra Capital was making headlines about serious conflict of interest issues that led to the departure of four senior executives from the company.
By her own admission, this appointment was a huge opportunity for her and she was well prepared to seize it. She had spent several years in the infrastructure investment sector at the Caisse de depot, where she had been fortunate to be mentored by Michael Sabia. She knew the values of the institution well.
His career in the world of investment had allowed him to go through another large institution, JP Morgan Chase, and to acquire valuable experience in the major financial centers, including London and New York.
At Otéra Capital, there were many difficulties to overcome. “When I arrived in the position almost four years ago, I immediately understood that I was going to have to deal with a serious breach of trust both from the team and from the clientele,” she says. “Then, shortly after, it was the arrival of COVID-19 that forced us to send everyone home and organize telecommuting, not to mention the labor shortage that the pandemic was going to cause,” she adds.
In less than four years under his leadership, Otéra Capital’s staff has grown from 110 to 169 employees, and the loan portfolio has increased by 43%. The opening of an office in New York now offers better diversification and has helped to capture good business opportunities both there and here. Loans in the United States now represent 25% of loans made compared to 5% four years ago. The firm has also adopted a strategy aimed at the Quebec economy, and the commitments already amount to nearly $6 billion, explains the president.
She adds that she inherited a solid team that was already performing well. The important thing for her was to revitalize the structure and take the team further. Rana Ghorayeb is delighted with the atmosphere now prevailing in the office.
Ms. Ghorayeb sits on the Fondation du CHUM, as well as on the Board of Governors of Concordia University, where she also obtained a master’s degree in engineering and a bachelor’s degree in urban planning. She also holds a master’s degree in finance from New York University.
The Association of Quebec Women in Finance will pay tribute to her on May 10 at its Les Talenteuses 2023 gala.