Desjardins Group

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Desjardins Group
Cooperative
Industry Financial services
Founded 1900 in Levis, Quebec
Headquarters Levis, Quebec, Canada
Key people
Guy Cormier, President & chief executive officer
Products Chequing Accounts
Insurance
Stock brokerage
Investment Bank
Asset-based lending
Consumer finance
Total assets $282,0 billion CAD[1] (2017)
Number of employees
47,655 (2017)
Website desjardins.com

The Desjardins Group (French: Mouvement des caisses Desjardins) is the largest association of credit unions in North America. It was founded in 1900 in Levis, Quebec by Alphonse Desjardins.[2] Located mostly in Quebec and Ontario, Desjardins is a federation of 313 local credit unions (French: caisses populaires) which serves more than 7 million members and clients.

The Desjardins Group has over 20 subsidiaries offering products and services related to insurance (Desjardins Financial Security, Desjardins General Insurance), real estate (Place Desjardins), venture capital funds (Desjardins Venture Capital) and brokerage (Desjardins Securities). The Desjardins Group, through subsidiary Développement international Desjardins, is also active in over 50 developing countries through technical assistance programs and various investments.

History

After studying European credit institutions born in the 19th century, Alphonse Desjardins in 1901 came up an original solution adapted to North America.[2] The basic principles are:[citation needed]

  • Each local caisse is owned by its members and works for their financial success.
  • Each member has one share and one vote. (Therefore, a caisse cannot be bought by another financial institution, which also would be restricted to one share and one vote.)
  • The caisses are devoted to regional economic development.

Desjardins Group began large-scale expansion outside the province of Quebec in 1992 when it opened the Desjardins Bank in Florida to cater to southbound Quebecers, particularly snowbirds and retirees. This practice has also been adopted by a number of other Canadian banks. In December 2010, it acquired the 121 offices and 500,000 customers of Western Financial for $443 million giving it a presence in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.[3]

Between 2008 and 2010, total assets at Desjardins Group grew over 15% from C$151.9 billion (when it ranked sixth in Canada and first in Quebec among financial institutions ahead of the National Bank of Canada) to over $175 billion in 2010. In 2006, it had 6,500 elected and volunteer officers and employed over 40,000 people and gave its members $483 million in patronage allocations and $64 million in donations, sponsorships and academic scholarships.[4] Most of the latter sum was used on regional economic development and health programs as well.

In 2011, Desjardins Credit Union in Ontario merged with Meridian Credit Union.[5]

On January 3, 2017, Desjardins Group announced the closing of the sale of its pet health insurance company, Western Financial Insurance Company to Economical Mutual Insurance Company (http://www.petsecure.com/news/2017/01/03/economical-insurance-completes-acquisition).[citation needed] Western Financial Insurance Company and its flagship brand, Petsecure were purchased in 2011 as part of the Western Financial Group deal.

On July 5, 2017, Trimont Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Wawanessa Mutual Insurance Company, announced the completion of its purchase of the remainder of Western Financial Group from Desjardins Group for $775 million. Included in the sale were Western Financial Group's Brokerage Network, Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions, and Western Life Assurance (http://www.westernfinancialgroup.ca/NewsDetails.aspx?n=203).

Desjardins is a member of Interac, the NYCE ATM Network, and issues house-branded Visa and Mastercard credit cards.

Credit agency ratings

As of September 2017, Desjardins long-term debt is rated Aa2 by Moody's, A+ by S&P, AA by DBRS, and AA- by Fitch. S&P and Fitch considered the company's outlook "stable," while Moody's and DBRS rated it "negative."[citation needed]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Desjardins Figures". Desjardins Group. 2017. Retrieved 2017-08-27. 
  2. ^ a b Martin, Joseph E. (Oct–Nov 2017). "Titans". Canada's History. 97 (5): 47-53. ISSN 1920-9894. 
  3. ^ Noah Buhayar (24 December 2010). "Desjardins to Acquire Western Financial for $439 Million, Expand in Canada". Bloomberg Businessweek. bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  4. ^ "Monique F. Leroux Becomes First Woman Elected as President and CEO of Desjardins Group" (Press release). Canada NewsWire. 15 March 2008. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  5. ^ Barbara Shecter and John Greenwood (1 March 2011). "Meridian, Desjardins agree to merger". National Post. financialpost.com. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Quick Facts about Desjardins
  • Branch Locator
  • Développement international Desjardins (DID)
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