Hiring at Mid-Level Banks Picks Up in Canada—Where Banks Remain Among the Strongest

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North of the U.S. border, bank hiring is beginning to pick up at the mid-market level and morale is getting stronger among job candidates as the employment situation improves.

The improving landscape comes at a time when Canadian banks are still seen as among the world’s strongest.

CIBC was No. 3 in Bloomberg Markets’ second annual ranking of the world’s strongest banks, followed by three of its Canadian rivals: Toronto-Dominion Bank (No. 4), National Bank of Canada (No. 5) and Royal Bank of Canada (No. 6), the country’s largest lender. Bank of Nova Scotia ranked 18th, and Bank of Montreal was 22nd.

Canada’s six largest banks have spent $37.8 billion since 2008 on about 100 acquisitions at home and abroad, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its June issue. “No other country dominated the list as did Canada,” says the report, noting that only three U.S. banks—JPMorgan Chase (No. 13), PNC Financial Services Group (No. 17) and BBT (No. 20)—made the top 20.

The Feel and Morale is Different

In April, meanwhile, employment across Canada improved 1.2 percent for full-time positions over the prior 12 months, and Boyden Toronto recruiter Janice Detta Colli tells eFinancialCareers that “the feel and morale in the market up here is very different than what it had been—you can literally feel things picking up.”

“At the mid-market level, things are still pretty hot across all the major banks,” says Detta Colli.

“Where it's less active is VP and above,” she tells eFinancialCareers. "Those hires are still fewer and further between and very strategic in nature,” she says, and yet some senior Canadian bank executives have been confident enough in the hiring environment as to quit their posts without having something waiting in the wings—“a true marker of consumer confidence.”

Scotiabank offers just one of the top financial institutions seeking mid-management investment banking hires in Canada.

In Toronto, for instance:

  • Scotia is seeking an Equity Marketing Associate to help assistance with all client-related equity services, including corporate and analyst marketing, databases and reporting. The right candidate will back up corporate marketing schedules and liaise with corporate management teams. The position requires a university degree and completion of the CSC and CPH within 24 months of the position’s start date.
  • Scotia is also seeking a Toronto-based Diversified Financials Research Associate to assist its analyst team and assist in developing financial forecasts and recommending particular stocks. The candidate Scotiabank seeks will create and maintain company financial models and industry databases and assist in writing research publications and morning comments. The position requires top-notch spread sheeting and graphing skills, and familiarity with Bloomberg and Reuters’ services would be an asset here as well, according to the Scotiabank Web site.

The company made several other investment banking positions available this month besides those listed above, including a Research Associate specializing in Oil & Gas for its Calgary office.

Scotia has been vocal about its ability to raise capital ahead of new global capital rules that start taking effect in 2015. Plus in Canada, The Office of the Superintendent Of Financial Institutions has gone beyond those levels.

“So many people in 1999 and 2001 said, ‘Scotia, you’ve got excess capital because you’re way above Basel, way above OSFI. You should do stock buybacks and extra dividends,’” Scotia CEO Rick Waugh told Bloomberg in an interview at an annual investor meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. “We said, ‘It’s not excess, because it was getting 18 percent return on capital, which was a very good place, and our shareholders would have had a difficult time reinvesting elsewhere.’”

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