SSQ Financial Group recorded net income of $77.6 million in 2016, an increase of 19.8 per cent over the year before, announced the company May 1. Return on equity for the year was10.2 per cent.

The rise in net income “is explained by a higher result in the savings sector, gains on the disposal of investments, in addition to excellent performance in group insurance," said Jean-François Chalifoux, SSQ's Chief Executive Officer in a statement.

Record individual insurance sales

Insurance business volume rose to $2,342.5 million, due to “an excellent group insurance retention rate and record individual insurance sales,” said the company

For 2016, SSQ reported $289.5 million in insurance sales, an increase of 18.6 per cent, and traditional group insurance sales rose by 14.0 per cent compared to 2015. The company’s general insurance business volume grew by 6.0 per cent, while individual insurance business volume was up 27.6 per cent compared to 2015. “In terms of savings, sales from the individual sector reached $558.1 million,” stated the company.

Former CEO appointed Chairman

SSQ also announced that René Hamel has been appointed the new Chairman of the board, replacing Pierre Genest who has retired. SSQ said the company is “very pleased to welcome back René Hamel, who worked for the company from 1986 to 2015, with the last seven years of his tenure as Chief Executive Officer.”