November 8th, 2016

Job opportunities in the financial services industry

According to a report authored by the Conference Board of Canada, the financial services industry accounts for 780,000 jobs or 6.8% of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). While Toronto is Canada’s largest financial hub, there are employment opportunities throughout Canada.

Some of the most obvious employers include the big banks, investment dealers, mutual fund dealers, mutual fund companies, and life insurers. But job seekers should also consider employment opportunities with exempt market dealers and managing general agencies, as well as service providers such as information technology/software companies, suppliers of back office/operations services and academic institutions. We can’t cover all jobs, but here are some examples of areas that you might like to explore further.

  • Advisory – One of the most common roles in the industry is that of investment advisor, mutual fund representative or insurance agent. Advisors spend their days helping clients to reach their goals by investing their money into products like mutual funds. They can also make sure their clients’ families have sufficient insurance to guard against loss. Common employers are the banks, mutual fund dealers, investment fund dealers, and life insurers.
  •  Investments – There are a multitude of roles that involve investments, such as portfolio management, product development, investment analysis, investment banking, asset securitization, and securities trading. Just as there are a wide variety of roles, these individuals can deal with a wide variety of securities including equities, fixed income, commodities, foreign exchange, derivatives, asset-based securities and credit. Common titles include portfolio manager, investment analyst, specialist, trader, and research associate. 
  • Sales – Sales is an important part of business for mutual fund companies, product issuers, and vendors or suppliers to the industry. Their relationships are in many ways the core of business success. People who work in sales must have excellent interpersonal skills paired with technical knowledge and industry insights. Common titles include account executive, sales/territory manager and business development manager.
  • Marketing Communications Marketing specialists produce brochures, maintain websites and social media accounts, compile manager bios, etc. People who work in marketing need to have excellent writing skills, technical expertise in web authoring tools and knowledge of industry jargon. Common titles include marketing coordinator, marketing manager and product manager.
  • Operations – Operations departments and companies need people to perform critical activities such as processing mutual fund orders, ensuring security trades are properly settled, safekeeping of investments, determining net asset values for investment funds, providing client reporting, and keeping accurate records of unitholders. 
  • Compliance – Compliance professionals ensure that companies operating in capital markets do so according to the industry regulations. Positions in this department require a high attention to detail. Common titles include branch manager, compliance officer and compliance director. 

Next steps

If you’re interested in working in financial services or want to brush up on your industry knowledge, IFSE can help. Check out these courses to learn more:

To find careers, visit IFSE Career Seekers.