About Desjardins Online Brokerage

A bit of background

In 1982, Jean-Pierre Ferland and Roger Charland, two young businessmen, established Canada’s first discount brokerage firm in Montreal. They called it Les Investissements Disnat Inc. The name "Disnat" was a play on "discount national". The firm’s primary role was to take trading orders from knowledgeable investors by phone and execute them quickly and inexpensively. Disnat gave self-directed investors easier access to the markets without having to go through a broker.

Now known as Desjardins Online Brokerage, this discount brokerage firm gives investors independent access to equity markets. Clients can determine their financial objectives, evaluate their risk tolerance and direct their own investment decisions.

40 years of innovation

  • Disnat was founded in 1982, and offered reduced commissions on stock and option trades on exchanges in the US, where the industry had been deregulated since 1975.
  • Following the elimination of fixed commission rates on brokerage trades in Quebec and Ontario, Disnat was the first firm in the country to offer discount brokerage services for Canadian market securities, starting on April 4, 1983.
  • In 1988, Desjardins Group ventured into the securities market by acquiring the discount brokerage firm Disnat and creating Corporation Desjardins des valeurs mobilières (CDVM).
  • A year later, CDVM acquired most of the shares of the full-service broker Deragon Langlois, renamed Desjardins, Deragon, Langlois ltée. It completed the purchase of Disnat in 1990, then of Desjardins, Deragon, Langlois ltée the following year. This made the Corporation a full-service brokerage firm with a discount brokerage division, Disnat, and took the name Desjardins Securities.
  • In 1995, the firm implemented a new telephone technology called Infocotes, a system that allows clients to obtain real-time quotes.
  • With the advent of the Internet, the firm found itself in an even better position to provide easier access to the markets. Since 1998, it has maintained an online presence via its website, which offers many tools to make it easy for users to carry out their transactions remotely. These include stock quotes, indicators and summaries. These two innovations have allowed the firm to maintain a leadership position in Quebec in its field.
  • In 2003, seeing how popular the platform had become for online investors, the firm launched Disnat Direct. This new tool gives investors direct access to an online trading platform where they can see changes in the stock market and electronic trading networks in real time. This means they’re able to jump on market opportunities.
  • At the outset, self-directed investors exclusively did their transactions over the phone. But, today, investors use Desjardins Online Brokerage’s trading platform for more than 98% of their transactions!
  • With the arrival of the Internet playing a significant role in its development, since 1982, the firm has continued to evolve to keep its clients informed and educated.

A longstanding commitment to education

Our discount brokerage firm has a long history of supporting financial literacy. Over the years, this involved partnering with educational institutions and community groups to organize initiatives aimed at encouraging people to take charge of their finances.

  • In 1987, the firm began sponsoring stock market simulation competitions, training courses and a technical analysis guide.
  • In 2006, it sponsored the very first edition of "Investir soi-même en bourse" (Independent Stock Market Investing), a convention held at Montreal’s Palais des congrès.
  • In 2009, Disnat produced a strategic portfolio guide for its clients. The model portfolios are real stock portfolios managed by Steve Deschesnes, a financial markets professional. Investors are able to examine, track and reproduce these portfolios, in whole or in part, based on their interests and when the time is right for them.
  • In 2016, the firm created Broker@ge 18–30, an exclusive program to help people ages 18 to 30 learn about the importance of financial empowerment and best practices for investing independently. In particular, the program targets young people interested in getting into the stock market.
  • In 2020, Desjardins Online Brokerage launched the News Feed, which gives clients real-time access to financial news.

Putting members and clients first

Client satisfaction has been our top priority for over 40 years. Every employee at Desjardins Online Brokerage is committed to listening to members and clients to better meet their needs. We really value your feedback—we're always looking for insight into our strengths and weaknesses and new ways to improve. Share your feedback today.

Choose Desjardins Online Brokerage for:

  • An innovative approach
  • Powerful, state-of-the-art tools
  • Over 250 educational events per year for everyone from novice to seasoned investors
  • Customer service you can count on
  • An online brokerage firm that's in tune with your needs