Desjardins rebrands insurance arm

By Kate McCaffery | March 12 2013 08:29PM

Desjardins Financial Security, the insurance and wealth management arm of Desjardins Group, changed its name recently to Desjardins Insurance.


Bill Packham, executive managing director, wealth management, life and health insurance division, says the move is part of a larger rebranding effort, intended to augment all of the company’s business lines, and further boost brand recognition and understanding about what the company does, particularly among consumers outside of Quebec.

This effort follows a restructuring of the company’s business units that occurred back in 2009.

“Desjardins Financial Security has always been known for our life, health, retirement activities, but a lot of people wouldn’t know when they heard the name, that (we’re) actually in the insurance business. You’d have to describe it further before people understood that. “

“They might not have realized we’re a very big player in insurance or a very big player in wealth management. We also do a lot in terms of corporate lending and corporate business activities.”

The four business units today, include the Desjardins caisse network, Desjardins Insurance (Desjardins Assurance in Quebec), Desjardins Wealth Management, and Desjardins Business. “I think the fact we are creating a much stronger brand reemphasizes our commitment to these businesses,” he added.

A national news, radio, and airport advertising campaign will accompany the rollout to help the company’s ongoing effort to expand and improve recognition outside of Quebec.

Growth plans, meanwhile, continue to focus on distribution, after Desjardins acquired mutual fund dealer, MGI Financial, from Jovian Capital Corporation in 2012, and announced this February that it would purchase part of Qtrade Financial Group as well. Qtrade oversees almost $7.5 billion in client assets through its online brokerage platform and wealth management services provided to credit unions.

Desjardins also plans to continue promoting its corporate lending and corporate banking across the country. Mr. Packham says the company already has a good base for these services in Alberta, and plans to continue offering or promoting the services alongside the investment banking activities it delivers to certain clients. “Conditions are improving. We have an opportunity to grow that business in conjunction with the rebound we’re seeing in business conditions in Canada,” he adds.

“We’re able to promote consumer awareness of these key brands – we’re in the wealth management business and we’re in the insurance business. We are also very strong in business services. I think this will help consumers’ understanding of our presence in these various business activities.”