Meridian moves forward with new leadership, focus on ESG and a new corporate strategy
Toronto, ON – Meridian, Ontario’s largest and Canada’s second largest credit union, reported a year of strong financial performance and record profits at its 17th Annual General Meeting held today.
“Meridian continues to demonstrate that it is a purpose-driven organization, with a deep dedication to helping Members achieve their best life,” said Jay-Ann Gilfoy, President & CEO, Meridian. “With the backing of our Members, we are looking ahead to an exciting future of growth that continues to improve the social fabric of our communities and integrates our commitment to a healthy planet and environmental sustainability.”
Marking her first 100 days in the role, Jay-Ann also acknowledged her immediate predecessors: Bill Maurin, former President & CEO and Gary Genik, who served as Interim President and CEO after Bill stepped down last May.
“We also thank the Board of Directors for their continued diligence and support in helping Meridian strategically navigate difficult times against the background of COVID and major global events,” said Jay-Ann. “It’s also a testament to the resilience of our employees who are passionate in delivering on our purpose.”
Board work in 2021 bridges to the future
During 2021, the Board led a CEO transition with a comprehensive national search led by the Human Resources Committee, and several strategic advisors including a diversity and inclusion specialist and an executive recruitment firm.
“The Board was thrilled to announce the appointment of Jay-Ann Gilfoy as the new President and CEO of Meridian and motusbank and has the utmost confidence in her leadership to guide us through our next era,” said Karen Farbridge, Board Chair, Meridian.
In laying the foundation for a new long-term strategy, the Board approved a new purpose and vision statement. “Our vision is to be recognized as an inclusive, transparent and people-focused financial partner,” said Karen.
As part of this work, the Board and management are committed to enhance the integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) priorities within Meridian’s new strategy. “We understand that addressing ESG matters is important to differentiating our brand, attracting Members, retaining employees, and creating sustainable communities,” said Karen. “As stewards of the ESG journey, the Board commits to enhance its focus on climate-related initiatives, along with rethinking how these and other ESG initiatives can support innovation.”
Meridian is honoured to have once again received an Excellence in Governance Award
from Governance Professionals of Canada. For the third consecutive year, Meridian was recognized for its best practices in Board/Director Effectiveness.
There were four positions to be filled on the Board in 2022. The successful candidates recommended by the Board’s Nominating Committee were acclaimed to their positions. These include Gail Harding and Tamara Paton who return to the Board to serve for another three-year term. The Board also welcomed two new Directors.
Stacey Grant-Thompson brings deep expertise in digital and direct marketing related to the optimization of end-to-end marketing programs with additional experience in the areas of strategy, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence. Most recently, she served as Chief Marketing Officer at Manulife Canada and has successfully built, scaled, and re-positioned several brands in financial services and telecom.
Lianne Hannaway is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a background in financial services and business transformation, highlighted by senior leadership positions at TMX Group, the parent company of the Toronto Stock Exchange, and at KPMG. She is Treasurer at The Equality Fund, a groundbreaking collaboration that supports women’s rights organizations and feminist movements globally and is a board member of Kids Help Phone. She also founded Wealthnuvo, a financial community platform designed to help women entrepreneurs and investors build wealth.
Departing Directors Carol Hunter and Andrew Lo were acknowledged and thanked for their service.
Karen Farbridge was reappointed by the Board as Board Chair for a further two-year term.
The following Directors were appointed as Committee Chairs until the next Annual General Meeting:
• Audit & Finance: Bruce West
• Governance: Hari Panday
• Human Resources: Tamara Paton
• Nominating: Ian Cunningham
• Risk: Gail Harding
Financial and growth highlights
The following are some notable highlights from 2021:
• Total assets under management which includes both our on-balance sheet assets as well as our wealth portfolio – grew by 7% in 2021, to $28.3 billion
• Total relationships reached $40.5 billion at the end of 2021, with growth of $3.4 billion over the year
• Loans to Members grew by $1.5 billion in 2021 to $19.4 billion, higher than the previous year as the economy slowly rebounded from the pandemic low
• Consolidated pre-tax earnings in 2021 were a record $218 million, up $151 million from the prior year
• Balance sheet assets grew by 5% to $24.1 billion, which was an increase of $1.0 billion over 2020
• Meridian’s net Membership base increased by over 8,000 Members and motusbank saw membership growth of over 1,800
Corporate and brand highlights
• Meridian launched its new brand awareness campaign “What If…?” in May, reinforcing the organization’s purpose driven goal of helping its Members build resilience.
• Meridian was the proud “Two Row Sponsor” of Niagara’s Annual Celebration of Nations to help support and promote Indigenous arts programming in September.
• Meridian employees also marked the country’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in September. In preparation, Meridian planned learning opportunities during the month of September to provide employees with an introduction to understanding Indigenous perspectives in Canada.
• The first-in-kind Meridian Financial Resilience Score for businesses was launched in October 2021, designed to help business owners gain perspective on their financial situation, gauge their financial resilience, and find out how to build their capacity for more. Meridian also has a Financial Resilience Score for individuals, launched previously.
We acknowledge the land on which we operate is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.
With more than 75 years of banking history, Meridian is Ontario's largest credit union, and second largest in Canada, helping to grow the lives of 365,000 Members. Meridian has $28.3 billion in assets under management (December 31, 2021) and delivers a full range of financial services online, by phone, by mobile and through a network of 89 branches across Ontario, and business banking services in 15 locations. Meridian cardholders also have access to over 43,000 surcharge-free ABMs in North America with THE EXCHANGE® Network and the Allpoint Network in the US. For more information, please visit: meridiancu.ca, follow us on Twitter @MeridianCU or visit us on Facebook.
For more information contact:
Teresa Pagnutti, Public Relations, Meridian
Jacob Del Zotto, Corporate Communications, Meridian