Martin Laprise

Yvon Charest, president and CEO of Quebec City-based Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. (IA Financial Group) on Tuesday announced his retirement after almost 40 years of service with the company and 18 years in his present role.

The IA Financial board of directors has named Denis Ricard as incoming president and CEO, effective Sept. 1.

Charest will ensure a smooth transition by remaining with the firm until Jan. 1, 2019.

“During [Charest’s] tenure as CEO, the organization has grown and matured into a leading financial services company in Canada with a reputation that is second to none,” says Jocelyn Bourgon, chairman of the board of directors, in a statement. “He has instilled a rich culture of outperformance built on respect, transparency and disciplined decision-making while maintaining a long-term view on business strategy, talent development and shareholder value creation.”

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Adds Charest, in a statement: “I want to congratulate Denis on his well-deserved appointment as our next president and CEO. If I had to choose one quality that defines Denis, it is his willingness to embrace feedback and new ideas to arrive at informed decisions. His is a skilled team builder, passionate about taking on new challenges and dedicated to long-term goals of IA Financial Group.”

Ricard is an actuary by training and joined IA Financial Group In 1985. His previous positions with the firm include chief actuary (2004-2010), senior vice-president, business development (2010-2015), executive vice-president, individual insurance and annuities (2015-2017) and most recently chief operating officer (2017-present).