The Co-operators reviews successful 2016, looks ahead to the future at AGM

TORONTO, April 5, 2017 /CNW/ - Representatives of The Co-operators and its 44 member organizations reviewed the company's performance in 2016 and looked ahead to the future at its Annual General Meeting (AGM), which wrapped up today in Toronto. The event brought together 180 participants from across Canada, including representatives of the member organizations and co-operative affiliates.

As a co-operative, The Co-operators is governed on a democratic basis by its members. Earlier this week, it announced the addition of its newest member, the St-Albert Cheese Co-operative. Members appoint delegates to seven region committees, which nominate and elect the 22 members of the Board of Directors. Vice-chairperson Johanne Charbonneau, retired from the board of directors and Marilyn Loewen Mauritz joined the board at this AGM.

Despite the impact of the tragic wildfire in Fort McMurray, the most costly insured natural disaster in Canadian history, the strong financial performance of The Co-operators group of companies resulted in net income after tax of $234.6 million in 2016.

"We will always remember 2016 as the year of the tragic Fort McMurray wildfire, and I was extremely proud of the way our staff and advisors stepped up to support our clients in their time of need," said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "Our ability to rise to the challenge and maintain a strong financial performance throughout the year is a testament to the financial stability of our group of companies."

The Board of Directors hired Rob Wesseling as the new president and CEO in 2016, following Kathy Bardswick's retirement.

The organization contributed $7.5 million last year to Canadian non-profits, co-operatives and charities as part of its efforts to support community resilience. This included contributions totalling $1.6 million to Canadian co-operatives as well as a special contribution of $260,000 to organizations helping Syrian refugees prepare for employability in Canada.

The Co-operators launched its inaugural integrated report, becoming one of a handful of pioneering Canadian companies to have adopted the emerging leading practice. Integrated reporting provides a holistic analysis of how a company creates value for its stakeholders both in the short and long term. The Co-operators 2016 Integrated Annual Report was released yesterday and can be viewed at cooperators.ca.

Throughout the AGM, donations were collected to support West End Food Co-op, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to provide viable food security that meets the unique needs of communities in the west end of Toronto. The Co-operators matched the personal donations collected from AGM participants, and a cheque for $8,500 was presented at the close of the meeting.

About The Co-operators
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $44 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. It was ranked #3 on Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada list, among the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean's magazine, the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt, and it earned the Governance Professionals in Canada's Excellence in Governance: Best Practices in Sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance award in 2016. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, (519) 767-3937

RELATED LINKS
www.cooperators.ca

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