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Western Financial Group appoints Jeff Burke President & CEO

Western Financial Group’s (Western) Board of Directors announces the appointment of Jeff Burke as President effective September 1. Burke will assume CEO responsibilities on January 1, 2014. This is the first leadership change in Western’s 17-year history.

Company founder Scott Tannas will remain as CEO and work collaboratively with Burke during this transition period. Tannas will maintain his leadership position at Western by assuming the new role of Vice Chairman and Founder on January 1, 2014 while concurrently serving as a Canadian Senator. In his new role, Tannas will focus on governance, community relations, employee relations and provide counsel on acquisitions.

In addition to continuing to oversee Western’s network of insurance brokerages, Burke will lead all of Western’s core business units, including Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions, Western Financial Insurance Company (Petsecure) and Western Life Assurance.

Since 2012, Burke has served as President and CEO of Western Financial Group’s network of insurance brokerages. Western’s network includes more than 160 branches and affiliates from B.C. through Manitoba including Coast Capital Insurance Services and Falkins Insurance Group.

“Jeff has done an exceptional job leading the network and has clearly demonstrated his ability to implement winning market growth strategies. Jeff’s knowledge of Western combined with his national and international experience makes him the ideal candidate to assume leadership of Western. We’re delighted to have such a highly qualified candidate, cultivated from within, leading Western in this next era of growth,” said Jim Dinning, Chairman, Western Board of Directors.

“Jeff has the vision and skills we need to increase our footprint in key markets,” said Tannas. “He has naturally embraced Western’s brand, which is built on our guiding principles of truthfulness, fairness, value and loyalty, and, during the last year, has demonstrated his ability to enhance the customer experience while increasing market share and profitability. I’m excited to work side-by-side with Jeff during the next phase of Western’s development.”

“Jeff's fresh perspective and ability to create and implement winning retail strategies make him an ideal candidate to lead Western as it refocuses on its core strength - its sales distribution network,” said Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO, Desjardins Group. “We thank Scott for all his achievements at the helm of Western and we look forward to his continued leadership and vision in his new role as Vice Chairman and Founder.”

“I want to thank the Board and Scott for this exciting opportunity. Western is one of the largest and fastest growing insurance organizations because it has a well-defined business model, a strong commitment to customer satisfaction and a robust corporate culture,” said Burke. “I look forward to working with Scott and our leadership team as Western returns to its roots and focus on growing its insurance sales through our retail network. Together, we will achieve great things.”

Burke has more than 15 years of executive leadership experience in both Canada and the United States. Before joining Western, he served as Senior Vice President at Allstate Canada Group leading the organization’s sales and marketing efforts. He has a B.A. from Bethany College, Kansas, and an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix

About Western Financial Group

Western Financial Group is a diversified insurance company that serves more than 790,000 customers across western Canada. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in High River, Alberta, Western provides personal and business insurance services through more than 160 office locations and affiliates and online. With a skilled team of approximately 1,800 employees, Western is committed to building the strongest insurance brokerage network in Western Canada.

Western Financial Group is a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada.

Eric Michalko
Manager - Sponsorships, Digital Marketing & Public Relations
Western Financial Group
Phone: (403) 652-2663, ext. 524
Cell: (403) 603-8965
Email: eric.michalko@westernfg.ca