SSQ Financial Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
SSQ Insurance
Industry Insurance, investment, real estate
Founded 1944 in Quebec City, Canada
Founder Jacques Tremblay
Key people
Jean-François Chalifoux, CEO
René Hamel, Chairman of the Boards
Products Group insurance, individual insurance, general insurance, investment, real estate
Revenue Nearly 3 billion CAD
Total assets 11 billion CAD
Number of employees
2,000 employees
Parent SSQ, Life Insurance Company Inc.
Subsidiaries SSQ Insurance Company Inc.
SSQ Realty Inc.
SSQ Financial Group's head office, in Quebec.

SSQ Insurance (French: SSQ Assurance) is a mutual diversified financial institution founded in 1944 in Quebec, Canada, which offers insurance and investment products.

SSQ Insurance is headquartered in Quebec City, with offices in Longueuil, Calgary, Halifax, Vancouver and Toronto.[1]

The organization, which serves over three million customers and employs 2,000 employees, is one of the major insurance companies in Canada. SSQ Insurance is also one of the 500 largest companies in Quebec, ranking 79th in 2018.[2]

With a business volume approaching $3 billion and $11 billion in assets under management,[3][4] SSQ Insurance is one of the 10 Canadian co-operatives present in the ranking of the most prominent coops worldwide.[5]


1940-1948: putting down roots[edit]

At the beginning of the 1940s, Dr. Jacques Tremblay out of concern for social justice took up the cause of Quebec City's working class, who could not afford adequate medical care.[6] There was no public medical plan. On May 9, 1944, Dr. Tremblay founded the Coopérative de santé du Québec, which provided needed medical care to members. In 1945, the cooperative changed its name to Les Services de Santé du Québec, hence inspiration for the later SSQ.

1949-1960: a new vocation[edit]

Starting in the 1950s, the cooperative shifted its focus towards business development and customer service. Contributions would be based on each group's risk profile and sales agents positioned themselves as advisors. As early as 1955, to diversify its products and pursue its growth objectives, the cooperative changed status to become a mutual aid company specialized in group insurance. The company expanded its customer and geographical base at the start of the 1950s, offering new products such as life insurance and disability insurance.

1961-1973: Quebec society undergoing change[edit]

In 1961, further to the implementation of the public hospital insurance plan, SSQ adjusted by offering services not covered by the plan and innovated by providing coverage for private and semi-private hospital rooms, surgery fees and extended coverage for doctor's visits. SSQ added disability insurance in 1963. At the end of the 1960s, its products and services were diversified to meet the public’s needs: additional annuity plans; dental, vision and chiropractic care; and prescription drug insurance. In 1969, SSQ moved its head office to Boulevard Laurier in Quebec City. The introduction of health insurance in 1970 represented both a significant advance for society and a new challenge for SSQ.

1974-1985: growth and democracy[edit]

In 1974, the Act Respecting Insurance changed SSQ's status, turning it into a mutual life insurance company. At the end of the 1970s, regional assemblies were set up and regional delegates were elected to represent their groups at the annual general meeting. The company's assets topped the $100 million mark in 1979. In addition to launching mortgage loans, SSQ also created a real estate subsidiary in 1982.

1986-1995: general insurance and restructuring[edit]

By member request, a general insurance subsidiary was created in 1986. In 1991, SSQ Mutual was split in two to create SSQ, Mutual Management Corporation and SSQ, Life Insurance Company Inc. In 1992, following the global real estate crisis and significant losses, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ became SSQ's principal shareholder, helping the company to quickly get back on its feet.

1996-2002: prescription drug insurance and Canadian debut[edit]

The introduction of the mixed public and private plan in 1997 profoundly changed this sector of the insurance market. In 2000, SSQ signed an agreement with its first panCanadian group. To reflect its sustained growth and broadening scope, the company changed its name to SSQ Financial Group in 2001, and the Canadian venture continued with new offices opening in Toronto in 2002.

2003 to today: growth and expansion[edit]

In 2003, SSQ Financial Group was named among the 50 best managed companies in Canada. SSQ also launched its Health InSight program in a bid to be actively involved in the health and wellbeing of its customers, and received authorization to offer individual savings plans in Ontario and to organizations with a federal jurisdiction. In 2012, SSQ and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ jointly acquired AXA Life Insurance[7] and renamed it SSQ Insurance.[8] The transaction added products and services to SSQ's offering in addition to rebalancing the company's internal organization and positioning it within the Canadian market. SSQ Financial Group has acquired several other companies in recent years including Finance & Indemnisation and

SSQ Tower, located in Longueuil, was inaugurated in 2016.[9]

In 2017 a decision by SSQ Insurance came under criticism by medical professionals and popular newspapers. It involves the denial of the claim of paralysis through injuries sustained in a 7 meters fall. At the time the patient was covered under against paralysis under his mothers insurance policy. SSQ Insurance has since been sued in connection with this decision.[10]

In 2018, SSQ Financial Group changes its name and becomes SSQ Insurance.  This change reflects the primary purpose of SSQ and ensures a positioning of the company in Canada.[11]

Products and services[edit]

SSQ Insurance offers financial products and services across Canada:

  • Group insurance (life insurance; death and dismemberment; disability insurance; prescription drug insurance; health insurance; travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance; dental care insurance; compassion insurance;[12] health and wellness program; individual insurance – retirement and end of employment; critical illness;[13][14] long term care; expatriate insurance)
  • Individual insurance (term life insurance; permanent life insurance; universal life insurance;[15] credit insurance; critical illness insurance; travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance)
  • General insurance (auto insurance; replacement insurance; home insurance; business insurance)
  • Investment (segregated funds; guaranteed interest accounts (GIA); individual savings and retirement plans: Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), locked-in RRSP, Non-Registered Savings Plan (NRSP), Individual Pension Plan (IPP), Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), locked-in RRIF and annuity; registered retirement plan without member management, private wealth management)
  • Real estate: development and management of SSQ Insurance’s real estate properties including property in Quebec City, Longueuil and Toronto.

Mutualist democracy[edit]

SSQ Insurance is a company with mutualist values whose shareholders are also its members. All SSQ, Life Insurance Company Inc. policy and contract holders (group insurance, individual insurance and investment products) become co-owners or participant members of SSQ Insurance. This shared ownership is expressed democratically through SSQ, Mutual Management, in keeping with its values of solidarity, equity, responsibility and equality. At the annual meeting, designated delegates have the opportunity to elect directors to the board of SSQ, Mutual Management.

Company structure[edit]

SSQ Insurance is made up of three companies: the parent company SSQ, Life Insurance Company Inc. and its two affiliates:[16]

  • SSQ Insurance Company Inc.
  • SSQ Realty Inc.

On January 1, 2017, SSQ General Insurance Company Inc. (SSQ's previous P&C insurance arm) was merged into SSQ Insurance Company Inc.

Senior management[edit]

SSQ Financial Group's management team is made up of managers from the business and corporate sectors.[17]

  • Jean-François Chalifoux – Chief Executive Officer
  • Patrick Cyr – Senior Vice-President, Finance
  • Geneviève Hamel, Transformation Bureau Lead
  • Carl Laflamme – Senior Vice-President, Distribution
  • Marie Lamontagne – Strategic Advisor
  • France LeBlanc – Risk Management Lead
  • Denis Légaré – Senior Vice-President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs
  • Michel Loranger – Senior Vice-President, Information Technology
  • Gilles Mourette – Customer Experience and Operational Management
  • Éric Trudel – Senior Vice-President, Strategy and Product Management

Boards of directors[edit]

Three boards of directors, chaired by René Hamel, support SSQ Insurance by ensuring the smooth operation of its companies.[18]

Sustainable development and social responsibility[edit]

SSQ Insurance strives to put its economic and financial aims to work for great social and environmental causes.[19] The company has followed this path from the start, as it strongly believes that all companies must give back to their communities. In 2014, 43 concrete actions were taken to this effect and detailed in the Sustainable Development and Societal Responsibility Report,[20] which is published each year.

Donations and sponsorships[edit]

SSQ Insurance is the title sponsor of the SSQ Quebec City Marathon[21] and presenter of the SSQ Health 5K.[22] This activity raises funds for organizations in the health sector.

SSQ partners with the SSQ Longueuil Marathon[23] as the title sponsor of the event.

SSQ's commitment to its communities is expressed through financial support to several organizations such as Centraide/United Way of Canada,[24] Fondation Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, Fondation du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, Le Grand Chemin, Pignon Bleu – La maison pour grandir, Réseau québécois des CFER, SickKids Foundation and SOCODEVI.[25]

Awards and distinctions[edit]

  • 2011 – Elite Healthy Enterprise Certification – Awarded by the Bureau de normalisation du Québec
  • 2012 – Canada Award for Excellence, Healthy Workplace, Gold award – Awarded by Excellence Canada[26]
  • 2012 – 193rd place among the top 300 global co-operative and mutual enterprises – Awarded by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)[27]
  • 2012 – Sustainable Building Innovation Award for Cité Verte – Awarded at Gala Habitation 2012 event[28]
  • 2013 – Laureate of the 23rd edition of the Énergia contest for the renovation of SSQ Building’s St. Lawrence Tower, over 10,000 m2 – Given out by the Association québécoise pour la maîtrise de l'énergie[29]
  • 2013 – Among the top 50 urban planning projects that have marked the history of urban planning in the last 50 years for the ecofriendly Cité Verte housing project – Distinction handed out by the Ordre des urbanistes du Québec[30]
  • 2013 – Recognition by GoodLife Fitness Health & Wellness Leadership[31]
  • 2014 – 5th place for René Hamel in top 25 of Quebec’s financial industry – Awarded by the Healthy Enterprises Group[32]
  • 2014 – Prix Distinction in the large company category – Awarded by the Healthy Enterprises Group[33]
  • 2014 – Quebec city’s Mérites d’architecture – Special jury prize with the Cité Verte project[34]
  • 2014 – Prix d’excellence Cecobois – Awards in the industrial building and architectural details categories for the waste disposal and collection system in Cité Verte project[35][36]
  • 2014 – Recipient of LOMA’s Excellence in Education award – Awarded by the LOMA society[37]
  • 2015 – René Hamel among Quebec’s Top 25 Financial Sector Personalities – Awarded by Investment Executive[38]
  • 2015 – Maestria award and special mention in the major donors category – Awarded by Québec et Chaudière-Appalaches chapter of Centraide/United Way of Canada
  • 2017 – Nomination of Jean-François Chalifoux to the ranks of the Quebec financial industry's Top 25 personalities – Awarded by Finance et Investissement[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Six grandes coopératives et mutuelles québécoises" (in French). La Presse. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Fiche entreprise SSQ Groupe financier" (in French). La Presse. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "2014 annual report". SSQ Financial Group. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "2014 financial results : 70 years of collectivite success, adapting to change". SSQ Financial Group. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "International : 5 défis pour les coopératives" (in French). La Presse. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Line, Ouellet; Marc, Vallières; Jacques, Saint-Pierre. A collective success story, 1944-2014 (SSQ Financial Group ed.). Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "SSQ buys AXA Life to expand its reach". Investment Executive. October 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "SSQ Financial buys Intact unit". The Globe and Mail. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "SSQ Groupe financier inaugure sa tour à Longueuil". TVA Nouvelles (in French). Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  10. ^ Edmonton Journal. Not quite paralyzed enough - man sues after insurance declined. February 1, 2017.
  11. ^ "SSQ Financial changes name to SSQ Insurance | Investment Executive". Investment Executive. 2018-01-02. Retrieved 2018-08-29. 
  12. ^ "SSQ launches compassion insurance". Benefits Canada. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "SSQ to introduce comprehensive critical illness coverage". Investment Executive. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Quebec City insurer SSQ first to develop autoimmune coverage". Financial Post. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "SSQ mise sur la vie universelle" (in French). Finance et investissement. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2017. 
  16. ^ "Company structure". SSQ Financial Group. Retrieved 11 September 2017. 
  17. ^ "Management team". SSQ Financial Group. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "Boards of directors". SSQ Financial Group. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  19. ^ "Sustainable development". SSQ Financial Group. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  20. ^ "Sustainable development and societal responsibility report 2014". SSQ Financial Group. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  21. ^ "SSQ Quebec City Marathon Partner - SSQ Financial Group collects $106,423 for the Seinbiose project of the Fondation du CHU de Québec". CNW Telbec. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "Donations and sponsorships". SSQ Financial Group. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "Longueuil est fière de mettre sur pied l'un des premiers marathons du printemps 2016" (in French). Ville de Longueuil. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  24. ^ "SSQ Financial Group honoured for contribution to 2014 Centraide/United Way campaign". SSQ Financial Group. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "Ambulance donated to Mali, a highly appreciated contribution!". SOCODEVI. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  26. ^ "Canada awards for excellence". SSQ Financial Group. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  27. ^ "SSQ Financial Group among the TOP 300 co-operative and mutual enterprises in the world". SSQ Financial Group. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  28. ^ "Gala habitation: sustainable development innovation award". SSQ Financial Group. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  29. ^ "SSQ realty stands out at the Énergia awards". SSQ Financial Group. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  30. ^ "Cité Verte: one of the 50 most remarkable achievements in the history of urban planning in Quebec". SSQ Financial Group. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  31. ^ "An award for SSQ Financial Group". SSQ Financial Group. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  32. ^ "René Hamel earns 5th place in Quebec's financial industry's TOP 25". SSQ Financial Group. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  33. ^ "SSQ, Life insurance company inc. is awarded the Prix Distinction in the large company category". SSQ Financial Group. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  34. ^ "Cité verte wins a special jury for architecture". SSQ Financial Group. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  35. ^ "Cité Verte wins again for its excellence and innovation". SSQ Financial Group. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  36. ^ "Région de la Capitale-Nationale : quatre projets lauréats et trois municipalités honorées" (PDF) (in French). Cecobois. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  37. ^ "SSQ Financial Group wins LOMA's excellence in education award for the sixth time". SSQ Financial Group. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  38. ^ "Top 25". Investment Executive (in French). Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  39. ^ "Temple de la renommée". Retrieved 2017-09-11. 

External links[edit]