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Of a military career to a CEO of an insurer

by

Alain Thériault

23 January, 2018 07:00

Christian Mercier | Photo : Studio K (Élodie Kergal)

In 2016, Christian Mercier has agreed to swap a career in the military promising to the senior management of an insurance company people.

He saw in it the opportunity to rub shoulders with stimulating challenges that characterize the industry, but also to apply the acquired concepts on a completely different field… which is not so different. «We learn that on the field, you must always be in motion if you want to survive,» he says.

Mr. Mercier has been commander of the 34th Canadian brigade Group of the canadian armed Forces, a Reserve training of the Army of the 2nd Canadian Division, whose headquarters is located in Montreal. On the coat of arms of the 34th : to fight, conquer or die.

Before accepting a 2016 bid of his predecessor Jacques Desbiens to take over, and the president and CEO oful Mutual, Christian Mercier had left the military career full-time in 2008, to become general manager of the Corporation du Fort Saint-Jean, which manages the military facilities of the College Saint-Jean. The school of leadership of this college, located in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, which he directed, is the most important military school in Canada.

«This school was facing challenges, during the period of expansion characterized by the canadian war effort in Afghanistan. We were close to 5,000 military personnel per year. This has allowed me to reach new heights in terms of management of staff. I was in charge of 800 people who gave training «, revealed Mr. Mercier.

Trained at the military College in Kingston, and holder of a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of Ottawa, Mr. Mercier was an infantry officer with the national Defense, before becoming the deputy chief of staff, administration, of the 2nd Canadian Division, and to occupy posts that preceded his hiring, to ul Mutual. Serving in the canadian armed Forces, he took the opportunity to get three more degrees of military studies developed at the staff College, with a focus on leadership and management. «Although focused on the defense, these lessons are applicable elsewhere. «

«My luggage military does not fit the traditional profile of the insurance sector, recognizes Mr. Mercier. It is sure that the invitation of Mr. Desbiens has led to a reflection of a few months. At the approach of my fifty years, I put into question what I was going to do in the next few years. The challenge was timely. «

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