The Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives of HEC Montréal is governed by the International Board of Governors. Chaired by Guy Cormier, current President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group, the Board brings together key international influencers in the world of cooperatives, in particular executives of large cooperatives and internationally renowned researchers.

Guy Cormier (Chair)
President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group

Guy Cormier has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group since April 2016. Desjardins is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and sixth in the world, with assets of over $248 billion. It is one of the 20 largest employers in the country, supported by the skills of its 47,000 employees and the commitment of more than 5,000 elected officers.

Mr. Cormier has been with Desjardins since 1992, and was General Manager of several caisses in the network. He was Vice-President of Cooperative Network Finance from 2009 to 2012, before being appointed Vice-President of Cooperative Network, in 2012, and then Senior Vice-President of Cooperative Network and Personal Services in 2013.

Mr. Cormier has always encouraged audacity, agility and innovation to improve the experience of members and clients. Under his leadership, the organization’s AccèsD Services earned their 11th Customer Operations Performance Center (COPC) certification, making Desjardins the only financial institution in the world to hold the certification that long. It was also under Mr. Cormier that new innovative technology-focused service centres were launched, earning several awards internationally.

In 2014, he was invited to give lectures and take part in roundtables for events organized by the World Health Organization and the International Summit of Cooperatives.

In 2013, the Quebec MBA Association recognized Mr. Cormier as one of 40 Quebecers with a major influence on business in the province.

He was selected as one of 55 leaders for the 2011 G20 Youth Summit to provide valuable input to managers from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the European Bank.

Mr. Cormier is a graduate of HEC Montréal, where he earned both a Bachelor of Business Administration and an MBA, as well as teaching finance for eight years. He is actively involved in a number of community organizations including the fundraising campaigns for the Université du Québec à Rimouski, the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation, and the Victor-Gadbois palliative care centre.

Eric Brat
Director of the Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives, HEC Montréal

Eric Brat is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives at HEC Montréal. He is a CFA and member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute. During his career, he has worked for Credit Suisse Group, Oliver Wyman and Accenture.

From 2002 to 2016, Eric Brat was a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group, initially in the Paris office, then at their Montreal office, which he founded in 2012. He was responsible for the strategic and organizational transformation of insurance companies. He was also a professor at Paris-Dauphine program at the Centre des Hautes Études d’Assurances (CHEA). A graduate of the Solvay Business School in Brussels, Mr. Brat also holds an MBA from Columbia University in New York.

Adrian Blundell-Wignall
Director in the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Financial Markets, OECD

Dr. Adrian Blundell-Wignall is the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Financial Markets and Director in the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs (DAF) at the OECD. DAF supports governments to improve the domestic and global policies that affect business and markets.

Key areas of work include anti-bribery, competition, corporate affairs, international investment, financial markets, insurance and private pensions. He is founder and chairman of a charitable foundation (The Anika Foundation) that raises and invests an endowment fund providing scholarships in a critical area of healthcare. Mr. Blundell-Wignall is an Australian citizen. He has a 1st class Honors degree and a Ph.D. in Economics from Cambridge University, UK. He is the author of extensive publications on financial markets and monetary policy in learned journals and books, as well as broker analyst studies and reports.

Marco Aurélio Borges de Almada Abreu
President and CEO, Bancoob

Mr. Almada worked with Banco de Crédito Real S.A. (Credireal) between 1982 and 1997, among others as Head of the Budget and Management Department. Towards the end of his mandate, he was also involved with the selling process of the Bank. After the sale, he worked for a year at Banco BCN [BCN Bank] and Bradesco as Manager of Budget and Costs.

In 1998, he joins Banco Cooperativo do Brasil S.A. (Bancoob) as an Adviser of the Presidency and as Head of Project Development, leading the creation and structuring of several departments and businesses that today comprise the Bancoob conglomerate. In 2002, he becomes Director of Sicoob Confederação, a function he exercises until 2008. He participates in the creation of the Fundo Garantidor do Sicoob [Sicoob’s Guarantee Fund] (FGS), becoming the first CEO. Since March 2009, he serves as CEO of Bancoob and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Fundação Sicoob Previ [Sicoob’s Private Pension Foundation], assuming, in 2015, a Chair on Bancoob Par Seguridade [Bancoob by Security]. Mr. Almada has a Bachelor degree in Business Administration, an Executive MBA in Finance from IBMEC, a specialization in Strategic Management of Costs from Oklahoma Baptist University and an expertise in Project Monitoring and Evaluation by Inwent in Munich, Germany.

Giovanni Ferri
Professor of Economics, LUMSA University

Giovanni Ferri, Ph.D. in Economics from New York University, is a Professor of Economics and Vice-Rector of Teaching and Students’ Rights at LUMSA University. Between 1999 and 2012, he was the Chair of the Department of Economics and Vice-Rector for International Relations at the University of Bari.

He previously served as Principal Financial Economist at the World Bank (1998-99) and Deputy-Director at the Research Department of Banca d’Italia (1984-1998). He has led (or consulted for) policy and research related projects in several countries. His research interests include: financial market imperfections and the transmission of monetary and financial shocks, banking structure, credit rating agencies, corporate governance, the finance-growth nexus, migration, company internationalization, sustainability. He has published extensively in these fields and he is associate editor of the journals Economic Notes, Rivista Bancaria-Minerva Bancaria, Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity. He is a founding member of the Think Tank at the European Association of Cooperative Banks; since 2013, he chairs the Center for Relationship Banking and Economics (CERBE) focusing on relational goods towards society’s well-being.

Uwe Fröhlich
Co-Chairman of the Board of Management & Co-CEO, DZ Bank

Mr. Uwe Fröhlich has been Co-Chief Executive Officer at DZ BANK AG since January 2019. He has been the Supervisory Board Chairman at DZ PRIVAT BANK SA, since 2018. He serves as the Supervisory Board Chairman at VR-LEASING AG. He is Executive Manager at DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank, Frankfurt am Main since November 2018 and is Member of the Board of Managing Directors.

He serves as Co-Chairman of the Board of Management at DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank since January 2019. He serves as the Chairman of the Supervisory board at DZ Hyp AG since August 2018 and serves as Supervisory Board Member since May 2018. He served as General Executive Manager at DZ Bank Die Initiativbank since November 2017 and as Member of the Board of Managing Directors from November 2017 until January 2019. He was President of the German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV) from 2012 to October 2017.

Previously, Mr. Fröhlich held numerous management and board positions, including as President of the National Association of German Cooperative Banks Inc., President of the Board of Managing Directors at Bundesverband der Deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken e.V., Supervisory Board Member at R+V Versicherung AG, as well as Director of Bundesverband der Deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken e.V.

Mr. Fröhlich completed a Business Administration course at the University in Lüneburg (Fachhochschule Nordostniedersachsen).

Cornelius Riese
Co-Chairman of the Board of Management & Co-CEO, DZ Bank

Dr. Riese has been Co-Chief Executive Officer at DZ BANK AG since January 2019 and serves as Member of Board of Managing Directors. He is a Member of the Supervisory Board at TeamBank AG Nürnberg since January 2019 and has also been its Chairman of the Supervisory Board since March, 2019. Dr. Riese serves as Chairman of the Supervisory Board at R+V Versicherung AG since January 2019.

Previously, Dr. Riese has held numerous positions, including as Head of Central Services Division of DZ BANK from 2009 to 2013 and as its General Manager since 2012. He was Head of Division Corporate Development / Organisation / IT at DG HYP, Hamburg from 2007 to 2009., and a Management Consultant at Accenture, Kronberg, from 1999 to 2007.

Dr. Riese completed his studies in Business Administration at the University of Mannheim. He was awarded his doctorate (Dr. rer. pol. ) at the Chemnitz University of Technology.

Ghislain Gervais
President and Member of the Executive Committee of La Coop fédérée

Ghislain Gervais has been active in numerous organizations over the past 17 years, and was elected President of La Coop fédérée’s Board of Directors in 2016. He brings extensive leadership experience to the organization, along with the ability to clearly articulate and implement a strategic vision that serves members’ interests. His thorough understanding of the environment in which La Coop fédérée operates puts him in an excellent position to represent the organization, in cooperation with the CEO.

Mr. Gervais’s skills in governance, leadership, and consensus-based decision-making, along with his experience running meetings and his ability to foster open-ended discussions and build consensus, make him a recognized expert known for his integrity and transparency. Ghislain Gervais employs a consistent and disciplined collective approach to grow the coop’s agricultural divisions, staying on top of the industry’s key issues and development opportunities in order to fulfill his duties and meet the challenge of satisfying multiple stakeholders, from farm to table.

As President of the Board of Directors, Ghislain Gervais encourages dialogue between consumers and the industry so that everyone has a chance to listen and to be heard.

Mr. Gervais is a graduate of “Institut de technologique agroalimentaire” and works as a poultry and field crop producer. He previously served as president of the board of directors at La Coop Agrilait. He has also held at seat on his regional UPA union, the board of directors of Club Yamasol, and the Saint-Guillaume CLD (local development centre).

Carlos Heller
President and CEO, Banco Credicoop

Mr. Heller has been working in the field of credit cooperatives since 1963. Between 1964 and 1974, he acted as Manager of the Caja de Crédito Villa Maipú. In 1974, he works at the Instituto Movilizador de Fondos Cooperativos (Argentine credit unions’ coordinating body), where he becomes Regional Manager of Buenos Aires.

During the implementation of the 1977 reforms of Argentina’s financial system, Mr. Heller was appointed to monitor the organization of a cooperative bank that could put together the credit unions linked to the Instituto Movilizador de Fondos Cooperativos in Buenos Aires and its region. Banco Credicoop Cooperativo Limitado was the result of this process, and it started operating in March 1979. Mr. Heller was entrusted the office of General Manager, a post he held until October 2005. In November 2005, he was elected President, and since then, has been acting in such capacity. He also acted as President of the Asociación de Bancos Públicos y Privados de la República Argentina (ABAPPRA) until May 19, 2006, and he is currently Senior Vice-President. Mr. Heller is a regular member of the Executive Committee of the International Confederation of Popular Banks, as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the International Co-operative Banking Association. Between November 2004 and November 2006, he acted as Governor for Argentina, and Board Member with Responsibility (Vocal del Comité Directivo) for the Latin American Banking Federation (FELABAN). He participated as a speaker in different international events linked to cooperative and banking activities. Mr. Heller is also a political and economics columnist in different radio and television programs. In the 2007 elections, he became a candidate for the post of Vice-Mayor of the City of Buenos Aires. He founded and became a representative of the Solidarity Party (PSOL).

Dominique Lefebvre
President, Fédération Nationale du Crédit Agricole

Dominique Lefebvre is a cereal farmer and has held numerous positions within professional agricultural organizations. He got involved in Crédit Agricole’s working bodies very early on and, in 1995, was elected Chairman of Crédit Agricole de la Beauce et du Perche, now Crédit Agricole Val de France (1997).

He also holds several national offices. Initially becoming an elected member of the Bureau de la Fédération Nationale du Crédit Agricole in 2004, he became Deputy Chairman in 2008 and then Chairman in 2010, taking over from Jean-Marie Sander who was elected Chairman of Crédit Agricole S.A. Dominique Lefebvre is Chairman of SAS Rue La Boétie, a majority shareholder of Crédit Agricole S.A.

Florence Raineix
Chief Executive Officer, Fédération nationale des Caisses d’Epargne

Florence Raineix has been Chief Executive Officer of the Fédération Nationale des Caisses d’Epargne since 2011. She spent her career at the Réseau des Caisses d’Epargne (RSE), where she gained solid operational experience in RSE’s various sectors.

She has served as Executive Director in charge of the general secretariat of the Caisse d’Epargne Ile-de-France-Paris and actively participated in the development of the status of the caisses d’Epargne, which have been cooperative banks since the French Parliament adopted the reform in 1999. As a member of the Conseil supérieur de la Coopération et du Conseil supérieur de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire, Ms. Raineix is also the Chair of Finances et Pédagogie, the association founded by the Caisses d’Epargne to promote financial literacy. Ms. Raineix has a double degree in law and management and also holds a doctoral degree in American law and business English, and an Executive MBA from HEC.

Jacques Robert
Professor, Department of Information Technologies, HEC Montréal

Jacques Robert is a professor in the Department of Information Technologies at HEC Montréal. He holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Montréal and a Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario.

After 12 years as a professor in economics, he joined HEC Montréal in 2001. He was Director of the IT Department between 2010 and 2016. Since 2014, he has been associate director of Research and Transfer. Since January 2016, he is also director of the Ph.D. program at HEC Montréal.

His research interests include applied game theory, mechanism design and experimental economics, and information technology education.

Scientific journals in which he has published include Econometrica, Journal of Economic Theory, Quaterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Information & Management, Journal of the International Journal of Operational Research, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Annals of Finance, and Neural Computation.

Franco Taisch
Entrepreneur and Professor

Prof. Dr. Franco Taisch is an entrepreneur and member of various boards of directors. He is the President and Founder of Taischconsulting, specializing in the areas of finance, medicine and technology. As a part-time university professor at the University of Lucerne, he focuses on the design of corporate governance models, as well as the entrepreneurial treatment of opportunities and risks.

Co-founder and chairman of the board of directors of Healthank, a global health data transaction platform, co-owner and member of the board of directors of Clinica Alpina SA, one of the state-of-the-art holistic veterinarian clinics in Europe, and CEO of the Cooperative Businesses Association representing 16% of the Swiss GDP. He is chairman and founding partner of Kreisquadrat gmbh, the decision network, and owner of TaischConsulting, leadership, and law. Mr. Taisch is also Chairman of the board of directors of Swiss Rock Asset Management Ltd., an international asset management company in Switzerland. Franco Taisch has international and multi-cultural living and professional experience in New York, Geneva, Zurich and Vaduz (LI). He was over 25 years executive, member of executive boards and member of boards of directors on the level of global quoted and non-quoted blue chip companies as well as on the level of domestic and foreign small and mid-sized companies, among others, several years member of the executive board of the Julius Baer Group, one of the largest independent global wealth manager, as well as Raffeisen for about ten years. Mr. Taisch speaks German (native speaker), English (main business language) and French. He studied in Zurich, New York, and Lausanne and has been admitted to the Zurich bar.

Pascal Viné
Director of Institutional Relations and Mutual Orientations – Groupama Assurances Mutuelles

Pascal Viné is an agronomy engineer AgroParisTech and doctor of the national polytechnic institute of Grenoble. He currently holds the position of Director of Institutional Relations and Mutual Orientations at Groupama Assurances Mutuelles.

He began his career as a teacher-researcher at the National School of Rural Engineering, Water and Forests.

In 1998, he joined the departmental directorate of agriculture and forestry of Eure as head of the agricultural economics department.

After leading modernization missions in the ministries of agriculture and state reform, he became, between 2003 and 2007, adviser to the Cabinet of the Minister of Agriculture, then advisor for agriculture and fishing in the Prime Minister’s Office.

In 2007, he was General Director of the Research Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (IRSTEA), and in 2009, Cabinet Director of the Minister of Agriculture. He heads the National Forest Office from 2010 to 2015.

From 2015 to 2018, he was the General Delegate of the Federation of Coop de France.