(Montreal) The mandate of Desjardins Group boss Guy Cormier has been extended for a period of up to two years to allow the cooperative to make major governance changes.

Mr. Cormier, who was to leave the Mouvement Desjardins in the spring of 2024, sees his mandate extended “until no later than March 2026”, while the cooperative prepares to separate the role of chairman of the board of directors and that of leader of management.

The separation of functions leads to significant changes at a time when the cooperative must update its 2021-2024 strategic plan, explains Desjardins Group spokesperson Chantal Corbeil in an interview. “There are a lot of governance and regulatory steps that are going to have to be done. »

If Mr. Cormier’s departure had not been postponed, the new Chairman of the Board, who will be appointed next spring, would have had the task of quickly finding a new CEO during a period of updating the strategic plan. The change in governance also required regulatory procedures supervised by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).

Board members concluded that a transition period of 24 months would be required to ensure a smooth transition. Mr. Cormier, who also serves as chairman of the board of directors until the spring of 2024, did not participate in the discussions of the directors leading to the decision to extend his mandate, answers Ms. Corbeil.

The decision to separate the two positions currently held by Mr. Cormier was made by Desjardins Group members at its annual meeting in the spring.

It follows a reflection of the members and a “wish” of the AMF, recalls Ms. Corbeil. “We have new challenges. When the governance was put together, it was in 1994. We didn’t even have 100 billion in assets. We are at 400 billion. […] We have a lot more responsibilities. »

The next step will be to choose a chairman of the board. The directors who will be elected at the next shareholders’ meeting in March will choose who will be the chairman of the board. The choice should be made in May 2024.

Mr. Cormier, for his part, will continue to serve as CEO “until no later” in March 2026. next CEO. Delegates retain the power to elect directors.