Desjardins Group in Canada has elected Guy Cormier as its new president, chair of the board and chief executive.
Mr Cormier was elected on 19 March and will commence his four-year term after the Group’s annual general meeting on 9 April. Desjardins’ governance rules allow its president to fulfil a maximum of two mandates of four years each. He is taking over the role from Monique Leroux, who is completing her second four-year term, and who was elected president of the International Co-operative Alliance in November.
Desjardins is the world’s sixth largest co-operative financial group and has been rated as one of the strongest banks in North America. Mr Cormier has been with the group since 1992, starting as a business account manager and general manager at several caisses (credit unions). From 2009 to 2012 he was vice president of Co-operative Network Finance and in 2012 he was appointed senior vice president. Since September 2013, he has been leading the caisse advisory committee on the Federation’s financing methods and revision of the service offer for the caisses.
He is also responsible for the Cooperation and Network Liaison Commission and co-leader of the Member/Client Experience Program. A member of the Desjardins Group Finance and Risk Committee and the Desjardins Group Business Development Committee, Mr Cormier also works for various organisations in the community, including the fundraising team at University of Quebec in Rimouski, the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation and the Victor-Gadbois palliative care centre.
The two other candidates standing for the role were Robert Ouellette, a fellow Desjardins senior vice-president, and Daniel Paillé, a former politician who represented the district of Prévost in the National Assembly of Quebec from 1994 to 1996 as a member of the Parti Québécois. He was later leader of the separatist Bloc Québécois, from 2011 to 2013.
The road ahead is a very exciting one!
Mr Cormier was elected by an electoral college who indicated their choice by individual secret ballots. The electoral college consists of 256 members including caisse representatives (elected officers and general managers) who are members of the Quebec and Ontario regional councils, and the Group Caisse Council.
“I am deeply honoured to have been selected from such a talented group of candidates,” said Mr Cormier. “I want to commend them for what they brought to the democratic process. Their contributions have helped Desjardins take yet another step forward. But above all, I’d like to thank the members of the Electoral College – I’m grateful for the trust they’ve shown by electing me president of this co-operative financial group we’re all so proud to be a part of.”
“The road ahead is a very exciting one!” he said. “And of course I’d like to pay tribute to Monique Leroux, who has been at the helm of Desjardins for the last eight years and to whom we owe a great deal.”
Ms Leroux added: “I want to offer my sincere congratulations to Guy Cormier. Being chosen to lead Desjardins Group successfully into the future is an honour, a privilege and a big responsibility. Of course Mr Cormier can count on my support over the next several months, just as I know he will be able to count on the support and the dedication of the elected officers, senior management and all the employees at Desjardins throughout his term.”
- This article was amended on 29 March. Monique Leroux did not step down as president, but is completing the end of her second four-year term in the role, the maximum allowed by the organisation’s governance rules. She was elected as the Group’s president in 2008.