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Partner Profile: The Co-operators

The OLIP Interns had the pleasure of meeting with Sara Cleland, Maya Milardovik, and Emily Shevell from the Co-operators Group Limited, a leading Canadian financial services co-operative offering multi-line insurance and investment products and services. Founded in 1945, the Co-operators now operate in over 600 locations across the country with over $56 billion in assets under management. Its members include Canadian co-operative organizations and credit union centrals.

We had an insightful discussion about co-operatives, which are community-based organizations and businesses that are owned and democratically controlled by the same members that use its services or products. The Co-operators are a co-operative themselves – its control structure is fully led by a democratic decision-making process and its profits are shared amongst members.

We also discussed the Co-operators’ Government Relations Department which is led by key pillars of advocacy related to business, co-operatives, resiliency, and lobbying law compliance. With about a quarter of Ontario’s population being a member of a co-op, the Co-operators advocate on behalf of its diverse base of members to reduce red tape, advance opportunities for innovation, and improve systems for the best client outcomes.

We left the meeting with a deeper understanding of the significant role of co-ops in our province and the behind-the-scenes of government relations advocacy. Thank you Sara, Maya, and Emily for sharing your insights with us!

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