Canadian Underwriter

Monique Leroux first Canadian elected president of the International Co-operative Alliance, to step down as head of Desjardins Group in April 2016

November 13, 2015   by Canadian Underwriter

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Monique F. Leroux, chair of the board, president and CEO of Desjardins Group, has been elected as president of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), the first Canadian ever elected as president of the alliance.

She will also step down as head of Desjardins Group in April 2016.

Monique Leroux will step down as head of Desjardins Group in April 2016

The election was held during the ICA Global Conference in Antalya, Turkey on Friday, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) noted in a press release, adding that she was nominated by CMC and her candidacy received the support of its members.

Leroux was elected to serve the remaining two-year mandate of outgoing president Dame Pauline Green, who is retiring after six years of service to the co-operative movement. Leroux was elected from a competitive field of four candidates, the most ever to seek the position in the organization’s 120-year history, CMC said in the release.

“The entire Canadian delegation joins me in congratulating Monique Leroux on her election,” said CMC president Jack Wilkinson upon hearing the results. “There was a great field of candidates for the ICA presidency and she should be very pleased with her victory.”

Leroux served on the founding board of CMC with Jack Wilkinson in 2014 and was part of the team that negotiated the historic coming together of the Francophone and Anglophone national co-operative associations in Canada in 2013, CMC reported. She is also the past president of Conseil québécois coopération et mutualité and under her leadership, co-operative and mutual networks in Quebec launched an integrated strategic plan for co-op development.

As president and CEO of Desjardins Group since 2008, Leroux has championed the Group and other Canadian co-operatives both nationally and internationally, CMC said. Desjardins – which co-hosted the International Summit of Co-operatives in Quebec City in 2012 and 2014 with a third summit planned for 2016 – is the largest financial co-operative group in Canada and the fifth largest financial co-operative, according to the World Co-operative Monitor.