Key Strengths, Size & Leaders

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Key strengths: There are over 100 investment dealer firms across the province, all of which are licensed by the Manitoba Securities Commission.

Size of industry: Manitoba’s financial services sector employs an estimated 33,000 people. All major Canadian chartered banks are represented in Manitoba, along with a few smaller regional banks and three foreign banks.

Leading companies: Great-West Life Assurance Co, HSBC, and IGM Financial.


Key strengths: Ontario’s key strengths include financing for the mining and energy sector, as well as highly skilled support, administration, and servicing operations. It contains 80% of Canada’s investment management industry, worth $700 billion in assets. The Toronto Stock Exchange is the third largest in North America and the eighth largest in the world in terms of market capitalization.

Size of industry: Ontario’s finance and insurance sector employs 358,000 people, with nearly half in banking. Ontario’s financial services industry is centred in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) with smaller clusters in Waterloo, London and Ottawa. The GTA is North America’s third largest financial centre after New York and Chicago, with over 221,000 employed in 2010.22

Leading companies: Apex Fund Services, Bank of China, Barclays Bank, China Investment Corp., Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ICICI Bank, ING Group, M&T Banking, Merrill Lynch, NYSE Euronext and State Bank of India all have operations in Ontario. Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, Toronto-Dominion Bank and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce are all listed in The Banker’s Top 1000 World Bank.


Key strengths: Montréal is known for its pioneering expertise in derivative and commodity trading, wealth management, and pension fund asset management. The Montréal Stock Exchange specializes in derivatives, and was the first stock exchange in North America to function entirely electronically.

Size of industry: The financial services sector employs over 150,000 people in Quebec.25 Montréal’s dynamic financial services sector is growing at a rapid pace and is home to more than 3,000 financial services companies, employing nearly 100,000 people. Montréal was ranked 23rd in The Banker’s 2011 International Financial Centre Rankings.26

Leading companies: Banque Transatlantique, Crédit Agricole, Giesecke & Devrient, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Société Générale and State Bank of India all have operations in Quebec. The Laurentian Bank of Canada and National Bank of Canada are listed in The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks.

Atlantic Provinces

Key strengths: The financial services industry in the Atlantic provinces includes banking, mutual fund administration, client relations, hedge fund administration, and insurance companies. Halifax, Nova Scotia is the financial services hub of the Atlantic provinces and is the fastest growing fund administration centre in Canada.23 The city is a leading global centre for middle and back office operations for the fund administration and reinsurance subsectors. The province of New Brunswick has the fastest growing insurance industry in Canada.24

Size of industry: There are almost 40,000 people employed in the finance and insurance industry in the Atlantic provinces. Nova Scotia is the largest financial services employer in the region, with over 1,000 companies employing approximately 18,000 people in finance and insurance, followed by New Brunswick (13,400) Newfoundland and Labrador (6,700) and P.E.I. (1,800). Five major Canadian banks have regional offices in Halifax.

Leading companies: Assumption Mutual Life Insurance, Citco Fund Services, Butterfield Fund Services, Marsh Captive Solutions, Olympia Capital, Meridian Fund Services (Canada).

  • 21 Statistics Canada, Employment (2011)
  • 22 Ontario Canada, Financial Services in Ontario (2011)
  • 23 KPMG, reported by Nova Scotia Business Inc (2012)
  • 24 Insureconomy (2012)
  • 25 CFI Montréal, Montréal: An International Financial Centre (2011)
  • 26 The Banker, International Financial Centres, October 2011