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Many clients continue to cite fees, growth potential and market uncertainty as key concerns. And with the cost of living increasing each year, your clients’ investments are reducing in value. It’s important your clients realize that simply saving isn’t enough—their savings need to retain value if they want to leave behind as much as possible.

Guaranteed investment funds (GIFs), also known as segregated funds, offer a solution.

GIFs are essentially investment funds that are issued by life insurance companies. These products address these concerns because they are guaranteed at maturity and death, and can help meet your clients’ investment objectives while protecting what’s important for them, whether it’s savings or estate planning.

Through the insurance contract, GIFs allow clients to designate beneficiaries. This simplifies the death benefit process, bypassing probate fees. So, in just a few days, beneficiaries get access to the funds upon reception of necessary documentation, such as the death certificate.

These products are suitable for multiple client profiles, especially: pre-retired and retired investors who are concerned about protecting their assets; self-employed clients because unregistered assets are also protected against creditors  (as long as the beneficiary is the ascendant or descendant, or is irrevocable); and younger investors because they can take advantage of the guarantees offered through resets.

Desjardins offers a variety of funds through the Helios2 contract, which has three different guarantees to address each of your clients’ needs.

  1. 75/75 guarantee: This option ensures the client is guaranteed for 75% of initial deposits at maturity (age 105). There’s also a 75% guarantee at time of death, which is paid to beneficiaries. This option offers growth potential and is most suited for self-employed workers, business owners and professionals. 
  1. 75/100i guarantee: Similar to the first option, this guarantees 75% of initial deposits at maturity (age 105). At time of death, the beneficiary is guaranteed 100%, as well as inflation protection up to the client’s 75th birthday through automatic annual resets. This option is most suited for clients who want their estate to be passed on quickly and easily. 
  1. 100/100i guarantee: This option offers comprehensive coverage. It guarantees 100% of first-year deposits (75% thereafter) as well as 100% at time of death. It also offers inflation protection up to the client’s 75th birthday through automatic annual resets. The maturity benefit can be reset twice per year at market value to capture market gains. This option is most suited for cautious investors that have shorter time horizons (15 years) and want to leave something behind.

If a client’s needs or circumstances change over time, they have the flexibility to switch between guarantees seamlessly.

Key benefits for clients

What makes Desjardins stand out is that it is the only issuer in Canada to offer inflation protection1 through its 75/100i and 100/100i guarantees, which is especially important for clients today since there are concerns that inflation could rise higher. Even at traditional inflation levels, having inflation protection is beneficial since it protects the client’s death benefit.

Using top-tier, experienced internal and external investment managers, Desjardins monitors the funds’ performance through rigorous research to ensure attractive growth for clients. Desjardins analyzes not only performance, but also the investment philosophy and portfolio construction process of each individual solution it offers.

And Desjardins offers competitive fees. Last year, it reduced the management expense ratio (MER) on all of the funds on the platform, as well as the guaranteed fees associated with the 75/100i guarantee. Desjardins offers high-net-worth pricing: 30 basis points across all funds when the client’s assets reach $250,000. The program is automatic, so once assets reach that threshold, the client is offered a rebate on fees.

There is also flexibility on fees for advisors, with five different options. And Desjardins has added chargeback options on the first three- or five-year period. GIFs are the only product on the market to offer this kind of structure2.

A focus on responsible investment (RI) is important both to Desjardins and to your clients. That’s why Desjardins added two RI portfolios last year and experienced a 75% increase in assets in 2020 alone3. Desjardins now has now a total of six RI portfolios.

As a result of its efforts and performance, Desjardins received seven FundGrade Awards last year. It was also one of the best-performing seg-funds on the platform, finishing third in 2020, with 74% of its GIFs assets under management held in above-average performing funds4.

Overall, the guaranteed aspect of GIFs compared to mutual funds and other investments is a key benefit for clients. As an investment product that offers growth potential and protection at maturity and death through an insurance contract, GIFs offer an incredible opportunity.

Philippe-Olivier Dumas

Philippe-Olivier Dumas
Head of Product Development


Legal note: DESJARDINS INSURANCE refers to Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company. DESJARDINS, DESJARDINS INSURANCE and related trademarks are trademarks of the Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec used under licence.

An investment in principal protected notes may not be suitable for all investors. Important information about principal protected notes is contained in the Information Statement and the Oral Disclosure Document of each note. Investors are strongly encouraged to carefully read this documentation related to a note issuance before investing and to discuss the suitability of an investment in the notes with their investment advisor or dealer representative before making a decision. The documentation related to a notes issuance in particular is available on the summary page of that issuance. In the event of any inconsistencies or conflicts between this document and the Information Statement, the Information Statement governs. The offering and sale of notes may be prohibited or restricted by laws in certain jurisdictions in Canada and notes are not offered for sale outside Canada. Notes may only be purchased in the jurisdictions where they may be lawfully offered for sale and only through individuals duly registered and authorized to sell them. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. The return on principal protected notes is dependent on the change (which may be positive or negative) in value of the underlying assets during the term of the note and it is possible that there may be no interest payable to the investor. The return on a note cannot be established before maturity. Some notes may be subject to caps, participation rates and other limits which feed through to performance. The full principal amount of a principal protected note will be repaid at maturity only. An investment in notes is subject to certain risk factors. Please read the Information Statement and Oral Disclosure Document for complete details, including the precise formula for determining return on a note.

An investment in non-principal protected notes may not be suitable for all investors. The notes differ from conventional debt and fixed income investments; repayment of the entire principal amount is not guaranteed (other than a minimum of 1% of the principal amount) and will be at risk. As a result, you could lose substantially all your investment in the notes. The notes entail downside risk and are not designed to be alternatives to conventional debt or fixed income investments or money market instruments. Important information about non-principal protected notes is contained in the Base Shelf Prospectus, the Prospectus Supplement and the Pricing Supplement (collectively, the “Prospectus”) of the notes. Investors are strongly encouraged to carefully read this documentation related to a note issuance before investing and to discuss the suitability of an investment in the notes with their investment advisor or dealer representative before making a decision. The documentation related to a notes issuance in particular is available on the summary page of that issuance. In the event of any inconsistencies or conflicts between this document and the Prospectus, the Prospectus govern. The offering and sale of notes may be prohibited or restricted by laws in certain jurisdictions in Canada and notes are not offered for sale outside Canada. Notes may only be purchased in the jurisdictions where they may be lawfully offered for sale and only through individuals duly registered and authorized to sell them. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. The return on non-principal protected notes is dependent on the change (which may be positive or negative) in value of the underlying assets during the term of the note and it is possible that there may be no interest payable to the investor. The return on a note cannot be established before maturity. Some notes may be subject to caps, thresholds, participation rates and other characteristics which may be reflected in the performance. Since the notes are not protected and the principal amount will be at risk, it is possible that you could lose some or substantially all of your original investment in the notes. An investment in notes is subject to certain risk factors. Please read the Prospectus for complete details, including the precise formula for determining return on a note.


1 Desjardins Competitive Analysis
3 Source: Desjardins, September 2021.
4 Source: Desjardins internal data about SocieTerra Portfolios betweem December 2019 and December 2020
4 https://www.fundgradeawards.com/2020/FundGrade-Awards-2020.aspx