Meridian finishes strong in 2019

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Highlights from Meridian’s Annual General Meeting

TORONTO, April 23, 2020 /CNW/ – Meridian, Canada’s second largest credit union and Ontario’s largest, highlighted its strong financials, a solid foundation and a pool of talented employees as contributing factors to another year of growth at its 15th Annual General Meeting held virtually on Thursday, April 23.  

“At Meridian, we view our results as a strong signal that the advice, the services and the products that we offer are hitting the mark for our Members,” said Bill Maurin, President & CEO of Meridian. “With our tremendous Membership, engaged and committed workforce, and relationship growth in 2019, we closed off the year with the news that we have become the second largest credit union in the country.”

Meridian, created through the merger of HEPCOE and Niagara Credit Union, celebrated its 15-year anniversary in 2020. “It has served as the foundation for building a more diversified and resilient organization,” added Maurin.

Board highlights:

Four Directors were elected to the Board, including Larry Doran and Mike Valente who were re-elected for another three-year term. The Board also welcomed two new directors.

Jacqueline Beaurivage, Executive in Residence at the Global Risk Institute, brings executive experience from Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan as well as deep experience in wealth management, retail, and commercial banking from CIBC and Royal Bank of Canada. Hari Panday, President and CEO, PanVest Capital Corporation, brings extensive experience as the founding-President & CEO, ICICI Bank Canada and its North American wealth management business, and from HSBC Bank Canada, Bank of Montreal and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, as well as experience in corporate governance and on corporate boards.

Directors Peter Patchet and Jeff Chesebrough retired from the Board after fulfilling three and five year terms of service, respectively.

Colleen Sidford announced her early retirement from Meridian’s Board, after the nomination period closed.  Her three-year term was scheduled to end in April 2021. The Board leveraged the applicants already extensively vetted through the nomination process and approved the appointment of Ian Cunningham to fill the remaining one-year term.  

Highlights of Ian’s strong financial services and technology background include senior executive leadership positions at Capital One Financial in both Canada and the United States, SVP and Chief Operating Officer for Tangerine Bank/ING Direct, among other distinguished roles. 

Karen Farbridge was reappointed by the Board as Board Chair for a further two-year term.

“Diversity of thought will be vital as the Board navigates a post COVID-19 world and we welcome new – and returning − Directors to the Board and the wide range of perspectives and insights they bring to our board discussions,” said Karen Farbridge, Board Chair of Meridian. “Effective governance is always important but now more than ever our commitment to strong governance practices will ensure Meridian continues to serve our Members in a way that is consistent with our purpose and values as a co-operative financial institution.”

The following directors were appointed as committee chairs until the next Annual General Meeting:

  • Audit & Finance: Ken Bolton
  • Governance: Bruce West
  • Human Resources: Tamara Paton
  • Nominating: Carol Hunter
  • Risk: Larry Doran

Again this year, Members voting for the Board of Directors, also had the opportunity to vote for one of three charities to receive a $5000 donation from Meridian. Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, a leader in the evolution of Ontario’s mental health and addictions system, is this year’s recipient.

Growth highlights:

The following are some notable growth highlights from 2019:

  • Total assets under management – which includes both our on-balance sheet assets as well as our wealth portfolio – grew by 17% in 2019, to $23.9 billion;
  • Consolidated pre-tax earnings grew to $94.0 million, up 9% from 2018;
  • Balance sheet assets grew by 17% to $21.0 billion, which was an increase of $3.1 billion over 2018, reflecting strong growth in Retail mortgages and Commercial lending;
  • Total relationships reached $35.2 billion at the end of 2019, the result of outstanding growth of $4.7 billion over 2018;
  • Meridian’s Membership base grew by 27,300 Members in 2019;
  • Net Membership has grown by 81,000 in the last three years, bringing our total Members served to nearly 380,000;
  • The launch of motusbank saw additional membership growth of over 10,000 new members;
  • While Meridian comprises roughly 8% of the Canadian Anglophone credit union system assets, it has generated 30-35% of the net growth in Membership in Canadian Anglophone credit union system assets in 2019.

Recognition and brand highlights:

  • Meridian was recipient of two Governance Professionals of Canada Excellence in Governance Awards in 2019.
    • For the second consecutive year, Meridian received an Award of Excellence for Best Approach to Achieving Effective Board and Committee Operations.
    • It was also the recipient of an Award of Excellence for Best Practices in Enterprise Risk Management.
  • These practices will serve Meridian well in navigating challenging times.
  • Meridian was the first recipient of the Credit Union of the Year award at the Canadian FinTech & AI Awards in November.
  • Meridian’s signature employee giving program My Commitment to Communities was the recipient of the 2019 National Credit Union Social Responsibility Award.
    • Over 50% of employees volunteered over 10,000 hours to support more than 425 organizations.
  • Meridian’s Good Neighbour Program sponsored 400 community events, programs and initiatives across Ontario.