Shared Value Creation
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.
Given the mainstay of our investments are in financial services, we represent a positive force in society, creating indirect financial benefits for customers of our group companies. We effectively enable these customers to manage their retirement and healthcare needs, accumulate wealth and achieve financial security through prudent investments. In the course of providing customers with financial advice, our companies 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 2017, $2.0 billion of dividends were paid to our shareholders and to those of our main subsidiaries, Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial.
We depend on the people in our group of companies for the success of our business. Together with our subsidiaries, we count on our more than 26,800 employees and 12,200 advisors, 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. In 2017, together with our main subsidiaries, we paid out $7.1 billion in employee salaries and 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 where we operate. 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 $4.0 billion in payments to suppliers and various levels of government in 2017.
Improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians is our group companies’ purpose and guiding light. This 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.
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.
In 2013, our parent company 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.
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 2017, Great-West Lifeco contributed $13.5 million in community funding across Canada, supporting over 750 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 2017 totaled $9.7 million, benefiting more than 1,700 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 2017, community investment contributions by our group companies (including our parent, Power Corporation) totalled more than $48 million and, together, they supported 2,000 community organizations in Canada alone.