Lévis, September 30, 2021 - For the 10th year in a row, Desjardins made its mark at the SRP Americas 2021 conference held yesterday by UK-based firm Structured Retail Products (SRP), bringing home two prizes for its structured products, including a second consecutive win for the top prize--the prestigious Best House, Canada--as well as the Deal of the Year, Americas award.

"The Best House, Canada prize is handed out every year by SRP to recognize the Canadian financial institution with the most impressive structured products, including market-linked guaranteed investments (MLGIs) and structured notes," explained Benoit Bélanger, Manager of Guaranteed Product Development and Financial Modelling at Desjardins Investment Inc. "When choosing a winner, SRP takes both quantitative and qualitative factors into consideration, including sales volumes, the quality of the product lineup and how satisfied external clients are with Desjardins's structured products."

Deal of the Year, Americas

Desjardins's Zenitude Aggressive Guaranteed Portfolio brought home a second prize, thanks to its sales volume, results and client satisfaction. This market-linked guaranteed investment is intended for members and clients who want full capital protection at maturity and higher potential returns than a traditional investment, with broad global exposure, including emerging markets. This product is perfectly aligned with Desjardins's product development philosophy: simple products that are in the best interests of members and clients. Desjardins guaranteed products have been named a Deal of the Year for three out of the last four years (2018, 2019 and 2021).

"Thanks to our team's growing expertise in developing structured products, we've won 22 prizes since 2012, making Desjardins the most awarded financial institution in the country, as well as a leader in Canada's structured products market," said Benoit. "Desjardins has nearly 25 years of experience in product structuring, and we'd like to build on our role as a leader and continue to expand nationwide."

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About structured products

Structured products can be broken down into two categories: market-linked guaranteed investments (MLGI), also called market-linked GICs in the banking world, and structured notes.

An MLGI is a term deposit, governed by the Deposit Insurance Act, which guarantees capital upon maturity, as well as guaranteed returns when applicable. The variable portion of the return is linked to market growth. This guaranteed investment therefore has a higher level of risk than traditional fixed-rate investments. At maturity, the variable return portion could be zero if the markets fared poorly, but any guaranteed interest will still be paid out. There's no way to predict what the return based on market performance will be until the maturity date. Guaranteed investments are not a direct investment in the securities that make up the variable return portion. This means clients are not entitled to the rights or benefits of a shareholder, including the right to receive distributions or dividends, or the right to vote or attend shareholder meetings.

Principal-protected notes: This is a debt instrument issued by a financial institution (Desjardins) with capital guaranteed at maturity. The return potential is higher than that of traditional fixed-income securities, thanks to market exposure through its diversified reference portfolio, such as an index, a basket, or an ETC. Notes can also be redeemed at any time under some conditions.

Non-principal protected notes: This is a debt instrument issued by a financial institution (Desjardins) with no capital guarantee. However, clients may benefit from different levels of protection at maturity. These notes have a higher potential return than principal-protected notes, as compensation for the different level of protection. The product also provides exposure to stock markets through a diversified reference portfolio. Notes can also be redeemed at any time under certain conditions.

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