Why Returning to Toronto to Work in Financial Services Should Be Your Next Move


Posted by TFI on April 3, 2019

For decades, the appeal of working abroad and career advancement goals have lured some of Canada’s top homegrown financial services talent to global financial centres such as New York, London and Hong Kong. At the same time, Toronto has been attracting talent from around the world who want to contribute to, and benefit from its vibrant, growing financial services and fintech ecosystem, and experience the high quality of life that it offers. 

But is Toronto on the list of potential destinations for those Canadians working abroad who are considering their next global career move?  Here are a few reasons why I think it should be.

Toronto: A Global Financial Centre and FinTech Leader

First, let’s take a closer look at how Toronto ranks on the global financial services stage with some compelling – and for some, surprising – facts:

  • Toronto is the second largest financial centre in North America.
  • Toronto is home to the country’s largest banks and the Canadian headquarters for more than half of the world’s top 10 largest banks by market capitalization. 
  • Toronto has outpaced many global financial centres in terms of both employment growth and concentration. Between 2012 and 2017, only Shanghai and Beijing experienced stronger financial services employment growth than Toronto. 
  • One out of every 12 jobs in the Toronto area are in financial services, second globally in concentration only to Luxembourg.

Toronto is also increasingly at the forefront of the latest technology innovations and the financial services jobs of the future. The city is a rising global leader in FinTech with homegrown companies such as Borrowell, Clearbanc, Coinsquare, FundThrough and Wealthsimple.

The Toronto-Kitchener-Waterloo fintech corridor is part of the third largest IT cluster in North America, and one of the largest start-up ecosystems in the world with more than 190 fintech start-ups. 

16730494-1Innovation hubs and incubators such as MaRS, Communitech and DMZ support FinTech start-ups in many ways, including facilitating partnerships with government, financial institutions and investors.  

CBRE’s 2018 Scoring Tech Talent research reviewed cities based on their ability to attract and grow tech talent and it showed that Toronto had the highest rate of tech jobs added over five years (2012-2017), outpacing other key markets including Seattle, New York, Washington, and the San Francisco Bay Area.


A Most Liveable City: Toronto Also Offers A High Quality of Life

16730518Did you know that Toronto is a rising star globally for its high quality of life, diversity and cultural experiences?  The city ranked seventh out of 140 of the 2018 Most Liveable Cities in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and fifth out of 110 cities in Nestpick’s 2018 Millennial Cities Ranking that was based on the economy, cost of living, lifestyle and openness.  National Geographic Magazine also named Toronto one of the best cities in the world to visit in 2019.  

Some Canadian expatriates may wonder how moving back home may compare to their experience of living abroad.  HSBC’s global 2018 Expat Explorer report surveyed 22,000 expats in 163 countries and only 26% of Canada’s expats abroad felt that their overall quality of life was better than it was at home.  Two in five Canadian expats didn’t feel as secure in their new home and 68% said the natural environment wasn’t as good as it was back home.

Interestingly, foreign expats reported that they came to Canada not only for financial rewards and career prospects, but to improve their quality of life.  They also said that Canada was one of the most welcoming and named it the fourth best country in the world.

So…Canadian financial services talent currently working and living abroad, I think you should consider Toronto for your next global move.  The city not only offers a world-class financial centre and North America’s fastest growing technology market, but also the opportunity to live in one of the top ranked cities of the world.  It may just be the next best place in the world, for you! 

To learn more about the talent landscape in Toronto’s FS sector, check out Toronto Finance International’s website.   

For questions on this blog post, contact Sashya D'Souza, Senior Vice President, Talent Initiatives at Toronto Finance International.

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