The strategy of consolidating Desjardins Group’s SFL centres in Quebec is moving ahead. Negotiations are currently being conducted across the entire distribution network in each region of Quebec.
The restructuring was first announced earlier this fall by Michael Rogers, the new vice-president of sales and distribution networks for Desjardins Insurance.
Negotiations being held
"All SFL Centres in Quebec are currently negotiating among themselves, by region, to determine how they will come together,” Jacques Bouchard, a spokesperson for Desjardins Group told The Insurance and Investment Journal in an interview. He added that the SFL network advisors were informed of this during a meeting held Nov. 29.
Centres will be merged in each geographical area, but the presence of SFL in Quebec will remain the same for each region, he said, reiterating Michael Rogers message that the main objective of the mergers is to consolidate services without cutting resources. "For example, if three centres decide to merge, they will continue to exist, but there will only be one centre of decision-making and one manager who will ultimately be responsible. The decisions will be made in the same place by the manager and assistant managers, after joint collaboration. In addition, if each centre has 25 employees, there will be 75 employees when they are grouped together,” said Bouchard.
New structure to be revealed in January
In January, the restructured SFL network is expected to be revealed. "All the centres in Quebec are negotiating, based on geographic regions and in the spirit of maximizing services and having stronger centres. This is not a one-sided negotiation that is coming from SFL. Each centre will be contributing to its new group," says Bouchard.
He insists that the mergers will not change anything for the advisors. "This reorganization should be seen more from an administrative perspective, where people are working together rather than in separate locations."