iA Financial names new COO

by David Keelaghan15 Nov 2017
Fresh from reporting 3Q earnings growth last week, iA Financial has announced the appointment of Denis Ricard as chief operating officer. It’s been a busy year for the Quebec-based firm, as it celebrates its 125th anniversary.
In selecting Ricard as its first ever COO, iA is appointing from within, rewarding an employee with tenure of more than 30 years. Since joining the firm in 1985, Ricard has excelled in a number of roles, including chief actuary, SVP, Business Development and, most recently, EVP, Individual Insurance and Annuities.

In his new position, Ricard will oversee the company's North American individual and group insurance operations. It’s a considerable responsibility, with those business units accounting for more than three-quarters of iA's total earnings. In its most recent results, the firm reported net income of $144.9 million versus $144.4 million for the same period in 2016. Boosted by its recent acquisition of HollisWealth, iA also increased its assets under management to $164.8 billion, which represents a jump of more than 24% since the second quarter of 2017. This was reflected with its dividend payout, which increased by 9% on the previous quarter to 38 cents per share.

Elsewhere, on December 11 the company will reveal which charity it has selected for a $125,000 donation. Part of its year-long 125th anniversary celebration, iA has selected 10 different community groups that are all vying for the prize: YWCA Metro Vancouver; Distress Centre Calgary; Bullying Ends Here; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association Foundation; Victory Neighbourhood; Baluchon Alzheimer; Laura Lémerveil; Le Diplôme avant la Médaille; Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association.

Announcing the appointment of Ricard as COO, iA Financial president and CEO Yvon Charest outlined exactly what the veteran brings to the table.

"This appointment recognizes the outstanding performance that Denis has delivered throughout his 32‑year career with iA Financial Group,” he said. “Having risen through the ranks through mobility within the organization and exposure to both corporate and operating functions, Denis has a well-rounded perspective that will be instrumental in his role as chief operating officer."

Aside from his responsibilities as COO, Ricard is a member of the firm’s strategic planning committee and will also lead digital transformation strategy.

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