Industrial Alliance's Yvon Charest named Quebec Financial Person of the Year a second time!



    MONTREAL, Feb. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - Yvon Charest has been named the 2008
Quebec Financial Person of the Year by the Finance et Investissement
newspaper. This is the second time the President and CEO of Industrial
Alliance (IA) heads the list of Top 25 economic and financial newsmakers for
the year, as compiled by the Quebec financial newspaper. He was also awarded
the title in 2004.
    Yvon Charest maintained IA on a course of growth in 2008, despite today's
troubled economic and financial waters. The company made several acquisitions
during the year to further bolster its position in the Canadian life and
health insurance and financial services market.
    In May 2008, IA bought National Financial Corporation, adding 350
financial advisors and $2.8 billion in assets to the company's fold. In
November, it acquired Quebec-based Dundee Wealth's mutual fund advisory and
insurance network of financial advisors, merging the latter's 410 advisors and
$2.6 billion in assets with IA subsidiary Investia. In the span of a few
years, IA has succeeded in joining the ranks of Canada's five leading
distributors of mutual funds, excluding banks.
    The company also reinforced its position in the mutual fund management
sector with the acquisition of Sarbit Asset Management and their $130 million
in assets under management, which have been integrated with IA Clarington,
another IA subsidiary.
    IA also purchased L'Excellence, a company that specializes in health
insurance. It also concluded its first major acquisition in the U.S., United
Family Life Insurance. This transaction will enable Quebec City-headquartered
IA to obtain operating licenses in 49 of 50 U.S. states. The new subsidiary
will be known as IA American Life Insurance Company. This raises IA's sales
from outside Quebec to 47%, and the figure keeps increasing by 1 or 2% each
year. Charest's objective is for sales outside Quebec to account for
two-thirds of the company's overall sales within the next four years.
    The Top 25 also includes 24 other financial newsmakers featured in the
February issue of Finance et Investissement, in a special segment titled "Le
Top 25 de l'industrie financière au Québec." The Top 25 were chosen by
reporters and editors from the various financial newspapers and magazines
published by Transcontinental Media.
    Also, this is the fourth straight year Finance et Investissement handed
out a financial advisor award. The recipient of the award was selected by a
jury composed by Gilles Bernier, Holder of the Industrial Alliance Insurance
and Financial Services Chair at Université Laval, Stéphane Desjardins,
Editor-in-Chief of Finance et Investissement, Carole Foster, Vice-President of
the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC), Stéphane Langlois,
President of LBC Financial Services and President of the Conseil des fonds
d'investissement du Québec (CFIQ), and Kaddis R. Sidaros, President of Gestion
Financière Plus.
    The jury named Louis Khalil, National Bank Financial Vice-President for
Gaspésie and Bas-Saint-Laurent, as the 2008 "advisor most involved in the
community."
    A reminder that the 2007 financial newsmaker of the year was Micheline
Martin, President, RBC Royal Bank, Quebec Headquarters. In 2006, the title
went to Luc Bertrand, President and CEO of the Montreal Exchange.




For further information:

For further information: Stéphane Desjardins, Editor-in-Chief, Finance
et Investissement, (514) 392-4234, stephane.desjardins@transcontinental.ca

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