Desjardins Group donates $2 million to Concordia University



    MONTREAL, Jan. 31 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins Group, the largest integrated
financial cooperative group in Canada, announced a $2 million donation to
Concordia University's John Molson School of Business (JMSB) today. The
announcement was made at a reception attended by Concordia President Claude
Lajeunesse and Alban D'Amours, President & CEO of Desjardins Group.
    These funds will provide students with scholarships and bursaries and
establish the Desjardins Centre for Innovation in Business Finance. This
research centre, unique to Quebec, will study how companies finance
themselves, including the role financial institutions may play in this
financing. An auditorium in the new JMSB building will also bear the name of
Desjardins Group's founder Alphonse Desjardins.
    "Desjardins' donation will go toward the establishment of an endowment
fund, the annual return of which will ensure the fulfillment of the mission
and objectives of the Desjardins Centre for Innovation in Business Finance. As
we all know, corporate financing is at the centre of the economic challenges
that we will be facing in the coming years and decades," said D'Amours.
"Furthermore, the support we are granting Concordia University bears testimony
to our motivation to enhance Desjardins' presence in Greater Montréal and work
more intensely to encourage the inclusion of members from non-French-speaking
communities in our Group."
    "By investing in this Centre, Desjardins will help students remain
abreast of the most recent technology in the banking and finance fields,
better preparing them to enter the business world in full stride," said Dr.
Lajeunesse. "By investing in the future leaders of the banking industry,
Desjardins has shown itself to be a true corporate leader, one that should be
emulated by other companies."
    Construction of the new JMSB building on the south-west corner of Guy and
De Maisonneuve streets began earlier this month, with an expected completion
date of summer, 2009.

    About the Desjardins Group

    Desjardins Group is the largest integrated cooperative financial group in
Canada, with overall assets of $133 billion as of September 30, 2006. It
comprises a network of caisses, credit unions and business centres in Québec
and Ontario, and some twenty subsidiary companies in life and general
insurance, securities brokerage, venture capital and asset management, many of
which are active across the country. Drawing on the expertise of its 40,000
employees and the commitment of 7,600 elected officers, Desjardins offers its
5.5 million individual and corporate members and clients a full range of
financial products and services. Its physical distribution network is
complemented by leading-edge virtual access methods. To find out more, consult
www.desjardins.com




For further information:

For further information: Tanya Churchmuch, Senior Advisory, Media
Relations, Concordia University, (514) 848-2424 ex.2518, Cell: (514) 518-3336,
tanya.churchmuch@concordia.ca; André Chapleau, Director, Information and Media
Relations, Desjardins Group, (514) 281-7229, andre.chapleau@desjardins.com

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