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Canada's Desjardins Group buys large stake in Qtrade
MONTREAL, Que., and VANCOUVER, B.C. (2/6/13)--Desjardins Group, Canada's largest cooperative financial institution, has accumulated a sizable minority stake in Qtrade Financial, a discount brokerage firm with business from Ontario to the west coast.

The move expands the cooperative's online trading services outside Quebec and will complement its current discount brokerage, Disnat, said The Globe and Mail (Feb. 5). Both Qtrade and Disnat platforms will be operated independently, said Desjardins spokesperson Andre Chapleau.

Desjardins Group, which is a network of caisses populaires (credit unions)  is based in Quebec, while Qtrade is based in Vancouver, B.C.  Qtrade has built up a wealth management unit that provides a back-office infrastructure credit unions need to offer asset management services, said The Globe and Mail.

Desjardins Group will acquire 25% to 40% of Qtrade's existing privately held shares and has the right to buy the remaining majority stock for the next six years. Qtrade often earns top marks in the newspaper's annual survey of Canadian online trading platforms.

Desjardins has been expanding its reach from Quebec to other provinces the past few years. For example, it acquired Western Financial, a bank and insurance company based in Alberta in 2010.


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