Desjardins Group Presidency Election: Information on the Electoral Process to Begin in January 2008



    The process leading to the election of the Desjardins Group president
    is highly democratic and avant-garde in terms of governance

    LEVIS, QC, Dec. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - On March 29, 2008, after the Desjardins
Group Annual General Meetings, Alban D'Amours, current President and Chief
Executive Officer of Desjardins Group, will be stepping down from his duties
after two mandates at the head of the largest financial institution in Québec.
    Mr. D'Amours was elected at the Desjardins Group presidency on February
19, 2000, and was re-elected by acclamation in January 2004. A person can hold
this position for eight years that is for two consecutive 4-year mandates.
    In a process that is unique in Québec and Canada in the financial
institution sector, an electoral college of 256 persons (not the Board of
Directors) will be responsible for electing the person who will assume the
role of President and Chief Executive Officer, through an individual and
secret vote. The electoral college is made up of Desjardins caisse/branch
delegates who are members of councils of representatives from the fifteen
Québec regions, from group caisses and from the Ontario region, including the
President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group. Councils of
representatives are democratic proceedings of the Fédération des caisses
Desjardins, where elected officers as well as caisse general managers hold
office.
    The elected person, whose main role will be to represent the interest of
caisses and of their members, will officially take office on March 29, 2008,
after the Annual General Meeting of the Fédération. The electoral process will
begin in January 2008 and the steps to be undertaken are as follows:

    
    1) from January 7 to 28, 2008: availability of nomination ballots

    2) from January 21 to 28, 2008: period of nomination

    3) from January 29 to March 8, 2008: election period, candidate meetings
       with members of the electoral college

    4) March 15, 2008: election by members of the electoral college.
    

    Eligibility for presidency

    Any person, who is a member of a Desjardins caisse in Québec or in
Ontario at least 90 days prior to the date of receipt of his or her nomination
ballot, and who meets the conditions specified in the ballot, is eligible for
the position of president and chief executive officer of Desjardins Group. As
a prerequisite, that person should obtain the support of 10 signatories from
among the members of the electoral college (at least two must be from the
greater regions that mark off the Desjardins territory in Québec, namely
regions in the East, Centre and West).

    Availability of ballots

    Nomination ballots will be available in paper or electronic format at the
Election Office and at the Office of the Secretary of each council of
representatives. Once they are filled out, the ballots must be sent to the
Election Office, 100 Avenue des Commandeurs, 6th Floor West, Lévis, Québec,
G6V 7N5, by January 28, 2008, 4:30 p.m. at latest.

    Election committee

    The election committee, whose mandate is to make sure that the electoral
process is carried out according to regulations, was constituted at the
Group's Annual General Meetings in March 2007. It is presided over by Annie P.
Bélanger, member of the Bas-St-Laurent and Gaspésie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine
council of representatives, and groups seven other people who are members of
councils of representatives from Québec and Ontario regions, as well as group
caisses.

    About Desjardins Group

    Desjardins Group is the largest integrated cooperative financial group in
Canada, with overall assets of $147 billion, as at September 30, 2007. 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 nearly 6,800 elected officers,
Desjardins offers its 5.8 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.

    NOTICE TO MEDIA: IN ACCORDANCE WITH ESTABLISHED RULES, THE PRESIDENT OF
    THE ELECTION COMMITTEE REMINDS MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES THAT CANDIDATES
    CANNOT GRANT INTERVIEWS FOR THE DURATION OF THE ELECTORAL PROCESS.

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For further information:

For further information: for journalists only: André Chapleau, Director
Information and Media Relations, (514) 281-7229, 1-866-866-7000, ext. 7229,
andre.chapleau@desjardins.com


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