The Co-operators Prepares to Expand in Quebec



    MONTREAL, Sept. 5 /CNW/ - The Co-operators has announced that it is
preparing for significant expansion in the province of Quebec. Today, the 
co-operative financial services organization announced the appointment of
Martin-Eric Tremblay as Senior Vice-President, Co-operators Group Ltd. and
President, Quebec Operations. He will be responsible for developing and
implementing a Quebec growth strategy for the group of companies that will
include increased sales through the broker network, the introduction of
Co-operators insurance agents, and new product and service offerings in the
province.
    The Co-operators group of companies is known in Quebec through its
subsidiary companies L'UNION CANADIENNE, The Sovereign General and COSECO,
which offer home, auto, commercial and group insurance. In the coming weeks
The Co-operators will also begin offering travel insurance in Quebec through
its subsidiary TIC Travel Insurance Coordinators, and will subsequently resume
sales of life & health insurance. In his newly created role, Martin-Eric will
coordinate the Quebec orientations of all subsidiaries in the group of
companies, with the goal of building The Co-operators brand and increasing its
market share by using the strengths of all our resources and organizations
based in the province.
    "We are firmly committed to long-term sustainable growth in Quebec, which
is a unique market in Canada. To do so successfully, we felt it was best to
delegate decision-making authority so that it is ideally suited to the Quebec
market," said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. "I am
very pleased that Martin-Eric has agreed to relocate to Montreal to take on
this important challenge."
    With exceptional knowledge and experience with the Quebec market,
Martin-Eric will lead the development and implementation of a Quebec growth
strategy that will result in increased sales both through Quebec's broker
network and direct distribution. Serving the province's thriving co-operative
sector, including our six Quebec member organizations with operations within
the province, will clearly become a focus for all of subsidiaries.
    "Over the next several years, we will take a steady and deliberate
approach to increase sales through our broker partners and other distribution
channels," said Martin-Eric Tremblay. "Our organization is eager to take the
next step toward realizing our vision of being where Canadians are, with the
financial products and services they need, when they need them, however they
wish to buy them - particularly when it comes to serving Quebecers."

    About The Co-operators:

    The Co-operators is a 100% Canadian-owned group of companies offering
home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as
investment products and property development. With assets of $7 billion, The
Co-operators Group is a co-operative owned by 37 Canadian co-ops, credit
unions and like-minded organizations. It is well known for its community
involvement, and is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada.

    %SEDAR: 00008192EF




For further information:

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators,
1-877-795-7272, ext. 2707


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