Cooperative strength amidst rapid change focus of The Co-operators Annual General Meeting

Thursday, 05 April 2018

Today, The Co-operators highlighted significant risks, challenges and opportunities presented by a rapidly changing world with the release of its 2017 Integrated Annual Report. The report was released as more than 100 representatives of the insurance and financial services cooperative's 44 members gathered in Moncton (Canada) for its Annual General Meeting (AGM).  The Co-operators is a member of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) and is based in Canada.

The AGM was attended by Shaun Tarbuck, Chief Executive, ICMIF, who took part in a panel discussion with Keegan Iles, Partner at PwC Canada and Insurance Consulting Leader and Kumar Shailabh, Executive Director of Uplift Mutuals (India), another ICMIF member. The panel discussion focused on the global challenges faced by the mutual and insurance sector which, in turn, set the scene for a discussion between attendees at the AGM on The Co-operators’ new strategy planning for 2019-2022. Shaun focused on the recent findings from ICMIF’s Chief Executive InSights: An era of renewed confidence report and the outcome of a series interviews undertaken by ICMIF with the leaders of its member organisations.

In its second integrated annual report, The Co-operators offers a comprehensive overview of the organization's financial, governance and sustainability progress and performance alongside key world issues and trends. The report notes that the rapid pace of change and the increasing financial, social and environmental volatility in today's operating environment demand that the organisation move forward strategically, efficiently and mindful of its cooperative values in order to deliver on its mission of providing financial security to Canadians and their communities.

"While a more volatile and less predictable environment presents challenges our organisation must adapt to, it also heightens the importance of our role as an insurer," said Rob Wesseling, President and CEO of The Co-operators. "In 2017, we paid out more than ever before – nearly CAD 2 billion in claims and benefits to help clients maintain their financial security and peace of mind following a loss. As we help clients recover, we must also work to prevent losses through education and advocacy aimed at building safer, more sustainable and resilient Canadian communities."

Highlights from the 2017 report include:

  • The Co-operators group of companies maintained a strong financial performance, with net income after tax of CAD 237.3 million
  • The organisation reached a milestone of serving over one million client households across Canada
  • 7.7 per cent of its invested assets are now invested in impact investments that measurably address pressing environmental and social challenges
  • CAD 8.3 million was contributed to non-profits, cooperatives and charities throughout Canada, representing 4.8 per cent of the organisation's pre-tax profit.

To view the full report, visit cooperators.ca/integrated-report.

As the AGM came to a close today, The Co-operators welcomed four new members to its board of directors. Chris Johnson (Ontario), Bill Kiss (British Columbia), Rob Paterson (Ontario), and Reba Plummer (Ontario) have joined the board, replacing four retiring directors who have spent a combined 33 years on the board: Don Altman (Ontario), Daniel Burns (British Columbia), Dave Sitaram (Ontario) and Roger Harrop (Ontario). The Co-operators board of directors is comprised of 22 directors representing its 44 member organisations in seven geographic regions across Canada.

During the meeting, The Co-operators also welcomed its two newest member organisations, the B.C. Agriculture Council, and Quebec day-care cooperative william.coop.

"We are delighted to welcome two more organisations to our membership," said John Harvie, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of The Co-operators. "We look forward to their participation in our democratic governance structure."

The Co-operators also donated CAD 8,500 to La Bikery Co-operative, to support the local co-op's Recycle-a-Bike program. The initiative provides economically disadvantaged people in Moncton with bicycles as well as education and tools to develop their bike maintenance skills.

The Co-operators is a Supporting Partner of the ICMIF 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy and is currently supporting projects in India, working with ICMIF member Uplift Mutuals.  Kumar also shared an update with the AGM delegates on the mutual microinsurance projects they are working on with the support of The Co-operators.