Shared Value Creation
At Power Financial, we firmly believe that for our business to prosper, so too must the societies within which we live and work. Employing diverse and talented people and investing in high-quality and responsibly managed businesses is helping us build and strengthen our business for the future, while enabling more sustainable outcomes for our customers, communities and people.
Responsible management allows us to generate long-term sustainable value for our enterprise, the economy and society at large. In our view, we can be successful as a business and create shareholder value only if we seek to serve all of our stakeholders and create value for them as well. This involves conducting our business in a way that benefits the communities where we operate, while providing products and services that benefit society.
As a company in the financial services industry, we understand that we manage our clients’ savings and investments and guide them in building their futures and their families’ security and confidence. We take this responsibility very seriously and believe that in creating indirect financial benefits for customers of our group companies, we represent a positive force in society. We effectively enable these customers to manage their retirement and healthcare needs, accumulate wealth and achieve financial security through prudent investments and, through providing financial advice, help foster financial literacy. This provides an important contribution to a prosperous, empowered society.
Our mission is to enhance shareholder value by actively and responsibly managing our investments, so they generate long-term, sustainable growth in earnings and dividends. In 2018, $2.1 billion of dividends were paid to our shareholders and to those of our main subsidiaries, Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial. Major pension funds, mutual funds and insurance companies being amongst our shareholders, these dividends benefit millions of individuals who rely on them for their income.
We depend on the people in our group of companies for the success of our business. Together with our subsidiaries, we employ approximately 28,000 diverse and talented people, many of whom fulfill the role of trusted advisor to their customers, helping them address their financial and insurance needs, creating bonds of professionalism and mutual respect.
In turn, we provide our employees with competitive compensation and rewarding careers and give them the resources to develop their expertise and leadership skills. Also, our investments in training and new technologies continue to develop local talent and the intellectual capital of our people. In 2018, together with our main subsidiaries, we paid out $7.4 billion in employee salaries and other benefits, and commissions. These funds flow through the economy impacting hundreds of communities across Canada in which our employees live and work.
We also support their volunteer efforts within the communities in which we operate, encouraging our employees to be involved and to give of their time to charitable causes they hold dear. Given the breadth of our employee base, we recognize the impact we have on local employment and talent development, and in creating a prosperous economy.
Business Partners and Governments
Our group companies source an array of goods and services from a broad spectrum of suppliers. We encourage these providers to offer environmentally and socially responsible products and services. This allows us to build a strong and sustainable supply chain that collectively plays a responsible role in society.
We, at Power Financial, and including our subsidiaries Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial, made $3.7 billion in payments to suppliers and various levels of government in 2018, generating indirect benefits for all the companies in our supply chain and enabling governments to benefit from personal taxes paid by our employees and through the corporate taxes levied on our suppliers.
Improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians is our group companies’ purpose and guiding light. We hold dear the responsibility we have towards the communities in which we operate, which is why being active in our community is a natural extension of our will to generate a positive impact in the life of Canadians. Giving back and helping build stronger communities is a shared value across our group companies and amongst our employees at all levels.
We strive to do our part to make a positive contribution to the communities where we are established and, where relevant, integrate our core values and competencies to build a better society with better opportunities for all Canadians.
Through our parent company, Power Corporation, and our subsidiaries we make contributions to numerous organizations through both corporate donations and investments, and our support of employee volunteering initiatives. Power Corporation established a community investment microsite, Power Corporation in the community, to showcase some of the exceptional work being done by the organizations that it supports financially. These organizations, many run by innovative social entrepreneurs, work in the areas of health, education, arts and culture, community development and the environment. As business entrepreneurs, we especially value and support the role that social entrepreneurs play in helping to build strong and connected communities, guiding us to seek partnerships and investments that have a lasting impact on our communities. Social entrepreneurs are driven to champion their cause and devote their lives to the service of others. They use their knowledge and experience to forge change in their communities and to bring comfort and healing to those in need. We are also drawn to smaller initiatives that deliver broad social benefit because of their entrepreneurial, innovative spirit.
Power Financial’s group companies also work diligently to make a difference in the communities they serve, through their respective community programs and initiatives, as well as employee volunteering activities and workplace campaigns.
Through its Stronger Communities Together program, Great-West Life addresses issues and trends at the national, regional and local levels in Canada, focusing on five major pillars: education, health and wellness, arts and culture, social services and community development. Recognizing its employees’ leadership and commitment towards communities across Canada, Great-West Life also encourages them to volunteer, providing financial support and contributions that add to the impact of their collective efforts. In 2018, Great-West Lifeco contributed $13.3 million in community funding across Canada, supporting over 700 community-based initiatives, and its employees raised $2.2 million for charity.
Each of IGM Financial’s operating companies implements its own philanthropic programs, supporting local and national activities and organizations. Their community giving programs, each defined by detailed guidelines, are a balance between centralized giving directed from their corporate head offices and decentralized decisions made by their employees. Their combined donations in 2018 totalled $9.7 million, benefiting more than 1,300 community organizations.
Over the years, our substantial commitment to philanthropy across the country has earned companies in our group the designation of “Caring Company” from Imagine Canada, having consistently exceeded the minimum donation guideline of 1 per cent of pre-tax domestic profit to charitable causes. In 2018, community investment contributions by our group companies (including our parent company, Power Corporation) totalled $47.7 million and, together, they supported approximately 2,000 community organizations in Canada alone. We are helping to break down barriers to social inclusion, while contributing to better health and education, community development, environmental protection, and access to arts and culture.
This impact is multiplied through the active involvement of our employees, whom we encourage to volunteer for causes that speak to them. Our officers and employees are also very active in both charitable giving and volunteering. In fact, many of our officers and employees also sit on the boards of the non-profit organizations they support.
In addition, in 2018, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert made a total of $1.4 million in community investments, contributing to 67 different projects in scientific and medical research, culture and education.