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Fonds de solidarité FTQ: Human Values and Management Vision

In a recent conversation with our president, Janie C. Béïque talked about engagement, vision and corporate social responsibility.

When deciding whether or not to invest in a company, Fonds de solidarité FTQ looks at certain criteria it considers essential, namely human values and the quality of its management team.

Beyond having solid management skills, today’s leaders need to demonstrate strong leadership through their corporate vision, employee engagement and social responsibility principles, said Janie C. Béïque, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fonds de solidarité FTQ.

“Eighty percent of our decision to invest in a company is based on the management team. We look at their level of dynamism, objectives, action plan, cohesion, vision and values,” she explained during a one-on-one discussion with Emilio B. Imbriglio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.

“Financial partners want to throw their support behind business leaders who are competent, conscientious, thorough, transparent and effective at communicating with stakeholders. Another key consideration is the diversity and complementary skills within the management team,” said Mr. Imbriglio.

The ability to engage employees

Janie C. Béïque believes that business leaders need to be attentive to employee engagement. “An organization’s best asset is its workforce. And, if you want to manage people, you have to have a people-first approach. It’s important that leaders be genuine and show some heart as managers,” said Ms. Béïque, who became the first woman to lead the Fonds in April 2021.

Employee engagement has become doubly important in light of the current labour shortage, the fast pace of technological advancements and the ecological transition. Fonds de solidarité FTQ offers support and consulting services to help Quebec companies overcome these three pressing challenges.

Organizations are faced with the need to make changes “in a structured way or risk losing employees,” said Ms. Béïque. “To promote employee engagement, organizations should be clear about why they’re introducing changes and what their objectives are.” That’s the key to a successful transformation.

For example, a company that introduces automation should reassure employees by explaining how the change will give them more time to work on value-added tasks while enabling them to gain new skills and grow within the company.

Employees also expect senior management to take personal interest in social issues and identify corporate values that are aligned with fundamental social responsibility principles, explained Ms. Béïque.

“It’s extremely important to appeal to the employee experience. People want to work for a company that has values, an organization with a soul.”

This is a major factor in today’s battle for workers, a struggle that is increasingly being played out at the international level due to the shift to remote work.

Helping businesses grow

Ms. Béïque explained that core social responsibility principles have been part of the Fonds’ DNA ever since it was created in 1983. For example, the organization she heads is a signatory of the Statement by the Quebec Financial Centre for a Sustainable Finance, just like Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.

“We invest in dreams and support management teams with strong values and ambitions. When we decide to back a company, we take it in its current stage and help it grow,” based on its unique set of challenges, Ms. Beïque explained.

She added that the Fonds de solidarité FTQ has several tools to help Quebec companies grow, regardless of their industry, size or geographic region. The organization has a network of 17 offices and regional solidarity funds, 87 local funds and 94 sectoral funds. Its team of investment professionals specializes in 20 different economic sectors.

“The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is a remarkable economic model because of its dual mandate. It aims to generate returns in order to build retirement savings for Quebecers, while also helping Quebec businesses make decisions that will pay off over the long term, not just in the short term,” said Ms. Béïque.

The organization has some 723,500 shareholders and invests more than $1 billion in the province’s economy every year.

Ms. Béïque believes that Quebec entrepreneurs are lucky to have such a robust ecosystem of financing companies behind them. These companies are now working together more than ever before to ensure that businesses of all sizes and from all sectors have access to capital and comprehensive financing that covers their short-, medium- and long-term needs.

“We have complementary strengths, and by working together we’re able to build stronger companies,” she said of Quebec’s financial ecosystem.

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