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Sandra Rosier: Helping to Bridge the Gap Between Law and Style

SandraSandra Rosier is a Tax Director at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).  In her role as Tax Director she is responsible for supporting the CPP investment teams in various multijurisdictional investment transactions from a tax perspective.  Sandra’s practice focus includes, but is not limited to, providing advice for private debt, infrastructure investments, public market investing; and funds and secondaries transactions. 


Sandra began her tax career as a law clerk for the Supreme Court of Canada.  She then headed south to Boston to join Ropes & Gray.  It was not long before she realized that she was a true Canadian at heart.  Accepting a Tax Associate position at McCarthy Tetrault, she quickly settled back into the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto life.  Sandra further fine-tuned her tax expertise, before making the leap to CPPIB, at Couzin Taylor as a Tax Associate and then at Ernst & Young as a Senior Manager in International Tax Services. 


What is the most interesting part of your job?

I really enjoy learning about the commercial and business dimensions of a transaction.  The Tax Director role allows me to be a bridge between CPPIB’s external advisors and the internal investment team.  To do this job well, you need to have enough knowledge to make you dangerous on a wide breadth of issues.  In my role as a Senior Manager at Ernst and Young I was able to work on a lot of big deals.  However, I was limited in how involved I could be in the entire deal.  At CPPIB, I have to see things from a business perspective so I am exposed to many issues beyond tax that might affect an investment transaction.  This, to me, is really exciting.  It keeps me on my toes.


What is your biggest challenge at work?

The learning curve.  I am fairly new in my role and coming from an accounting and law firm the nomenclature is very different than in a business environment like the CPPIB.  The CPPIB is a private equity investment environment.  Although I worked with clients as an external advisor, as an internal advisor the communication style and emphasis is different.  Legal jargon is not enough to excel.  You need to understand the business objectives and know how to articulate it using business language and terminology. 


Where do you see yourself professionally five years from now?

In the next five years I am committed to really learning the investment industry.  I hope to be an expert in this field so that I can provide seamless advice more intuitively and efficiently. 


What one thing would you bring with you if you knew that you would be stranded (indefinitely) on an island tomorrow morning on your way to work? 

It’s a toss-up between pictures of my kids and my IPod.  In all seriousness, the pictures of my kids would definitely win that toss.   My IPod is a strong second runner-up. 


If you could have dinner with one person in history, who would it be? 

It would have to be Billie Holiday.  She was gone too soon.  I would want to tell her how special and talented she was. 


Who is your role model?

My mother.  She is a poet, retired teacher and the most wonderful woman in the world.  She is a model of how to live a life of devotion to others. 


When you are not working, what do you do with your spare time?

Etiquette_information I love to spend time with my kids.  I run recreationally and enjoy watching foreign films.

I also write fiction and publish an etiquette blog for lawyers.  You can find it at: . The name of the column is Bar Code.  Check it out when you have a chance.



Written by Marsha Henry


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