Denis Berthiaume, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of Lévis, Que.-based Desjardins Group, has been named 2016 Financial Personality of the Year in Finance et Investissement‘s (FI) Top 25 ranking of Quebec’s financial services sector.

FI, Investment Executive’s French language sister publication, bestowed the award on Berthiaume at an industry gala held on Tuesday evening at Le Windsor in Montreal.

“Denis Berthiaume has done a tremendous job at Desjardins Group and Desjardins Financial Security. He’s an exceptional manager. He’s delivered outstanding results at every stage in Desjardins’ development,” the Top 25 jury said in a statement.

From 2011 to 2015, surplus earnings before dividends for members of Desjardins Group’s personal insurance and wealth-management division grew to $503million from $280 million, which represents an average annual increase of 16%. Moreover, profits of the firm’s insurance arm, Desjardins Financial Security (DFS), grew by 63% in five years, hitting a record $448.4 million in 2015.

The Top 25 was divided into five categories, each with four finalists and a winner, for the first time this year. The Financial Personality of the Year is selected from among the winners of the five categories. The categories include insurers, national financial services institutions, full-service brokers, multidisciplinary firms and independent management companies.

The winners for each category include:

  • Insurers: Denis Berthiaume, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of Desjardins Group.
  • National financial services institutions: Martin Thibodeau, president of Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada’s Quebec division.
  • Full-service brokers: Richard Legault, president of Montreal-based Industrial Alliance Securities Inc.
  • Multidisciplinary firms: Robert Frances, President of Montreal-based PEAK Financial Group.
  • Independent management companies: Louis Allard, president and portfolio manager with Allard, Allard & Associés in Montreal.

For the complete list and more information about the Top 25 finalists, visit FI‘s website. (In French only.)

The jury in charge of selecting the Top 25 finalists was made up of seven members of Quebec’s financial services sector, including: Richard Joly (jury chairman), president of Leaders & Cie; Geneviève Blouin, founder and president of Altervest and chairwoman of the Emerging Managers’ board of directors; Richard Fortier, corporate director; René Hamel, (retired) former president and CEO of SSQ Financial Group; Carmen Crépin, corporate director and former vice president, Quebec, Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada; Guillaume Poulin-Goyer, content manager, FI; and Sylvain Bédard, vice president, business solutions, and publisher, Groupe Les Affaires.

In addition to the Top 25, FI also recognized the outstanding work and dedication of two financial advisors in Quebec.

Francis Sabourin, investment advisor and wealth-management director in Montreal with Toronto-based Richardson GMP Ltd., was named Advisor of the Year for 2016. The jury chose Sabourin, who will be celebrating 25 years as an advisor on Oct. 5, for managing successfully the five portfolios he created on his discretionary management platform.

Gilles Garon, financial planner and director with Garon & Associés Inc., a member of the Desjardins Financial Security network, was named Advisor Most Active in the Community for 2016. Garon, an honorary member of Institut québécois de planification financière, is also the mayor of Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, a municipality of 5,000 people.