Desjardins Group Annual General Meetings

Guy Cormier reaffirms the need for cooperation
and makes a push for innovation

A second Desjardins mobile branch to hit the road
and a new innovation lab to open in Lévis this year 

Quebec City, March 25, 2017 - The Desjardins Group Annual General Meetings (AGMs) are being held in Quebec City today. Desjardins Group President and CEO Guy Cormier, who was elected in March 2016, summed up his first year at the head of the organization. 

He reminded the caisse delegates why it's important for Desjardins to refocus on its purpose, which is to enrich the lives of people and communities. "Working to continually develop and deploy the means Desjardins Group has at hand, working to improve our capacity to act and taking socio-economic leadership, in my opinion is playing a positive role in a world that needs positivity," he said.

That is why earlier this year a $100-million development fund was earmarked for the socio-economic development of communities. Mr. Cormier also acted on his promise to give a stronger voice to young people by creating the Youth Advisory Board, which is made up of members, officers and employees ages 18 to 35.  

He reiterated that he wants Desjardins to become a single large organization that works in the interests of its members and clients--an organization that is people-focused, modern, high-performance and easy to do business with. 

A second mobile branch and a new innovation lab 

Mr. Cormier highlighted some of Desjardins's most recent innovations and achievements, including the mobile branch. Considering that the pilot project has been a huge success so far, he announced the rollout of a second mobile branch to serve eastern Quebec.  

In the same vein, Mr. Cormier announced the opening of a second innovation lab in Lévis--the first one opened in Montreal last year. Still on the topic of innovation, he mentioned that earlier this week Desjardins launched Alert, a home insurance program to prevent water damage, available nationwide. "These cutting-edge solutions aren't coming out in 10 years, they're here now!"

While technology plays an increasingly central role in our lives, Mr. Cormier is convinced that people will continue to make a difference. "In 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, our members will still want to talk to flesh and blood men and women who work in our caisses, our Desjardins Business centres, at Desjardins Securities, or at one of our insurers. Talk to competent people who want to provide high-quality service."

The cooperative model is more relevant than ever 

In a world filled with uncertainty and growing distrust, and where the majority of the population is so fed up with society, work and the economy that they're taking to the polls to express their frustration, Guy Cormier believes that somewhere down the road, there must be a shift. 

He firmly believes that cooperatives, and Desjardins Group in particular, have a role to play in leading the way for a societal shift--a shift towards responsible and sustainable development that puts people first. 

"The cooperative model is open to others and to the world. It's based on strong and generous values: mutual aid, solidarity, money at the service of human development. And it's more relevant than ever," Mr. Cormier said.

He concluded by inviting the caisse delegates to show leadership in their caisses in order to help members and clients build a better future, and to work on developing their communities. "Desjardins Group is in its prime. We're looking to the future. Let's stick to our ambitions. Let's take the organization even further. Let's play an even bigger role in a world that needs cooperation, today more than ever."

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