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Investment Banking in Canada | Top Banks | Salaries | Culture

Investment Banking in Canada

How is Canada as a market for Investment banking? Is it as similar to USA market? How investment banks in Canada do the selection? What sort of funds Canadian investment banks handle? In this article, you will get the answers to all the above questions.

Let’s have a look at the sequence of the article –

  • Overview of Investment Banking in Canada
  • Investment Banking Services in Canada
  • Top Investment Banking Firms in Canada
  • Recruitment process in Investment Banks in Canada
  • Culture in Investment Banks in Canada
  • Investment Banking Salaries in Canada
  • Investment Banking Exit Opportunities in Canada
  • Conclusion

Overview of Investment Banking in Canada

For outsiders, it seems that Investment Banking in Canada is a lot like investment banking in the US, right? Wrong! Actually, there’s a lot of difference in terms of recruitment, process of selection, market, the demand for jobs and investments handled.

  • The first thing that you would notice in Canadian investment banking is that it is very tough to get in. But, fortunately, very few people to apply for investment banking at the first place.
  • The second thing that is notable is the market. The investment banking in Canada is much smaller in than the USA. Here investment banking revolves around four financial hubs (usually) – Toronto, Calgary, Montreal & Vancouver. If you want to break in, it’s better that you live near these places or can move to these places.
  • The third thing that’s noteworthy is the type of structure maintained in Canadian investment banks. In the USA, usually people from top-notch MBA institutes are directly hired for associate positions; but in Canada, the analysts only become associates within 3 years of time. Moreover, in Canada, MBA is not as common as it is in the USA. And what’s more surprising is that the investment banks in Canada are ready to accept proposals from candidates who are coming from completely different/unconventional backgrounds.
  • The last thing that will give you a brief of the investment banking in Canada is the focus of the investment. In the USA, the industry focus and reach are both much bigger. However, in Investment Banking in Canada, the actual focus of investments is in three specific industries – energy, mining, and natural resources. In two financial hubs Toronto & Montreal, few tech, biotech, and pharmaceutical investments can be found.

Let’s now look at the service offered by Canadian investment banks.

Investment Banking Services in Canada

In the case of services offered, Canadian investment banks are similar. Let’s have a glance at the various services they offer under the umbrella of investment banking –

  • Advisory/M&A: The most important of all services are advisory in M&A. No matter what is the requirement of the firm, it can be merger, acquisition or sales, investment banks in Canada are always on their toes to help their customers get the best deals and offer the best value. If there’s complexity in transactions, the most efficient teams of M&A will handle and offer their customers hassle-free advisory service.
  • Services for Debt & Equity Capital Markets: No matter what is the need – hedging, stake building, yield enlargement or disposal, Canadian investment banks help customers understand the market trends and mention ways to act on these them. Now, debt and equity capital markets are very volatile and one needs to be sufficiently knowledgeable to be able to make a profit out of them. The expert team at Canadian investment banks guide through all the intricacies and help the customers make some serious money on every deal.
  • Investment research: Investment banks in Canada (like USA investment banks) are pretty good in investment research. As the market focus is narrow, they can go in depth of every market they look at. As a result, these research reports become the invaluable properties to esteemed customers. They use quantitative market research, statistical modeling, digital footprint analysis, and data science while looking for best investment deals.
  • Bespoke financing: Bespoke financing is another avenue of services offered by Canadian investment banks. From long term to short term, from simple to complex, these banks offer all sort of customized financing solutions for all of their customers.
  • Retail investment products: Investment banks in Canada also offer retail investment products. Every individual has different investment objectives and risk appetite. Canadian investment banks offer entry points to every possible market and strategies to get in there and generate better yields.
  • Sales & Trading Services: Investment banking in Canada also provide sales and trading services to customers who are looking to engage effective to their valued market and make more money. From cash equities to credit facilities, from emerging market to derivatives, investment banks in Canada helps all clients access the products and provide the liquidity they need.

Top Investment Banking Firms in Canada has published its 2016 ranking of the top investment banks in Canada. has provided rankings for large caps as well as small and Mid-caps.

Top Investment Banks in Canada – Large Cap

Leading” Investment Banks

  • BMO Capital Markets
  • CIBC World Markets
  • RBC Capital Markets

“Excellent” Investment Banks

  • Goldman Sachs
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Scotia Bank
  • TD Securities

Highly Recommended Banks

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Barclays
  • GMP Securities
  • HSBC
  • JPMorgan
  • National Bank Financial

Top Investment Banks in Canada – Small & MidCaps

Leading” Investment Banks

  • BMO Capital Markets
  • CIBC World Markets
  • National Bank Financials
  • RBC Capital Markets

“Excellent” Investment Banks

  • Cormark Securities
  • FirstEnergy Capital
  • GMP Securities
  • Macquarie Group
  • PWC
  • TD Securities

Highly Recommended Banks

  • Canaccord Genuity
  • UBS Investment Bank
  • Scotiabank

Recruitment process in Investment Banks in Canada

The recruitment process in Canadian investment banks is much different than the investment banks in USA & Europe. Let’s have a look at the process in detail –

  • No existence of assessment centers: Investments banks in Canada do recruitment through face to face interviews and direct selection. There are no assessment centers whatsoever to choose candidates. In European investment banks, recruitment can’t be perceived; however in USA rarely you would see the existence of assessment centers in the process of recruitment.
  • Resumes are also similar in nature: If you create a banking-friendly resume then that would be enough. There’s no requirement of making it something else and no need at all to do so. A simple, easy to read banking resume will do the trick.
  • The entire focus of the interview is on “fitment”: As the offices and banks are smaller in Canada, the idea of “fitment” is most important to them. Thus, they don’t mind calling people from other unconventional backgrounds; but they should be culturally fit for the organization. And that’s the reason all interview questions would be majorly “fit” questions. So if you would like to start in an investment bank in Canada, know about the investment bank well in advance and see whether your aspirations, knowledge, skills, and ambitions go with the bank’s existing culture.
  • The first round of interview: Usually this interview is taken by the agency or sometimes directly by the banks. In this interview, they want to know whether you can work or not. It is a basic screening interview and if you’re reasonably good, chances are you will get through it easily.
  • Superday interviews: During these interviews, the candidates get stressed about what super day interviews would be all about. In normal circumstances, the interviews will depend on what sort of background you have and who you have worked with. Usually, superday interviews are either about fitment or about judging your technical expertise. During superday interviews, the interviewers want to know that whether they can like you or not. If they like you, you will get hired. In the case of Canadian investment banks, superday interviews are more about fitment and less about technical abilities. But you need to be quite decent in technical expertise.
  • An additional round of interview: If they get a couple of candidates after superday interviews, you can expect another round of interview to find out who would be hired at the end of the day. In this interview, they will look at both the candidates, their fitment, their educational backgrounds, their work ethic, their knowledge and technical expertise etc. After holistically judging both pros and cons for both candidates, they will finally decide who will get hired.

Culture in Investment Banks in Canada

You may think that the culture of investment banking in Canada would be quite different than the American investment banks. But truth of the matter is that it is quite similar. In Canadian investment banks, you need to put in at least 90 hours a week, every week. That means, you would have almost no-work life balance. And if you have decided to work in an investment bank, work-life balance may be the last thing that will cross your mind.

In most of the cases, you will be spending 30% of your time on deals and clients. And the rest of the time would be spent of finding prospects, creating financial models and working on pitch books. Unless you’re not part of an extremely busy group of investment bankers, in Canadian investment banks this is how you would work.

And if you’re working as an analyst, your exposure would be much more than analysts in USA investment banks. The reason behind this is the size of the funds and clients you will handle. Usually, in Investment Banking in Canada, both are smaller.

Also, have a look at Investment Banking Lifestyle

Investment Banking Salaries in Canada

If you would like to work as an investment banker in Canada, then it should be out of passion or a deep curiosity to know the market. If you’re there for compensation, then you may get disappointed.

Here’s why.

The average salary of investment banker in Canada is around C $65,000 per annum. However, there’s good news too. If you can stick to this industry for few years, you would be able to earn a decent salary. Have a look at the chart below –

Investment Banking in Canada


We will look at another chart below which will draw an idea in your mind about bonuses and profit sharing as well –

Investment Banking in Canada


If we look at the bonus, we would see that it’s huge and certainly experience has a lot to do with the bonus you earn. If you have more experience, then you would be able to earn even more than C $100,000 as bonus.

Let’s look at the chart below which shows how experience affects compensation in investment banking in Canada –

Investment Banking in Canada


If you look at the above chart, you will see that in most of the cases, experienced people get more compensation (and it is always upgrading year after year); but in the case of entry level, the opposite is true. The compensation at entry level is downtrodden.

But what happens when we look at the pay structure as per the experience?

Investment Banking in Canada


From the above chart, we can understand a surprising thing. If we glance at payment as per the years of experience, we will see that when investment bankers have 10-20 years of experience, they earn around C $140,000 per annum which is the sweet spot. After 20 years of experience, the compensation starts to decline and become around C $100,000 per annum.

That means we can conclude that at 20 years of experience as an investment banker in Canada, the compensation reaches its saturation level and if the investment bankers don’t switch or start their own funds or ventures, it would be difficult for them to keep earning more.

Investment Banking Exit Opportunities in Canada

Compared to USA, investment banks in Canada, there is less obsession with exit opportunities.

The reason is most investment bankers love their jobs and they love to stay in their jobs for long period of time rather than switching careers.

However, you can still switch and go for an MBA. But in Canada, after MBA rarely people stick to investment banking. They go to different routes, especially in the banking industry (please note: not investment banking).

Also, have a look at this detailed guide to Investment Banking Exit Opportunities 


In Investment Banking in Canada, everything happens at a smaller level. But the environment is great and there is an emerging market waiting to be explored. If you have experience in USA investment banks and want to work in Canada, barriers to entry for you would be none. Even if you pass out from a top-notch university in the USA, in Canada, investment banking would be a much lucrative option for you; as there would be much lesser competition and you can immediately take charge of the position.

However, if you’re from Canada, having enough passion and curiosity will do the trick for you.

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The post Investment Banking in Canada | Top Banks | Salaries | Culture appeared first on Learn Investment Banking: Financial Modeling Training Online.

This post first appeared on Free Investment Banking Tutorials |WallStreetMojo, please read the originial post: here

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