Canada’s Investment Industry Faces

Canada’s Investment Industry Faces

Canada’s investment industry employs approximately 40,000 people from all walks of life and virtually every region of the country. Many of these individuals work in areas such as IT, marketing, back office support and administration, playing essential roles in ensuring our industry functions effectively and delivers its many benefits to Canadians and Canada’s economy as a whole.

To call much-deserved attention to their dedication, achievements and community service efforts, the IIAC will use this section to feature profiles of individuals working in these, and similar, capacities.

If you would like someone from your firm to be profiled, please contact PublicAffairs_AffairesPubliques@iiac.ca.

To learn more about the Canadians working in our industry, please click on one of the images below.

 

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Valerie Duggan

Trading Support
National Bank Financial
Montreal, QC

How long have you worked in the industry?
It started as a summer job at the Montreal Stock Exchange back in 1982 and I have been working in the industry since. I can hardly believe I am celebrating my 25th year with National Bank Financial!

Please tell us about any volunteer activities you may be involved in.
For years, I was working alongside cat shelters helping abandoned cats. When I have more time I would like to get involved in a volunteer activity that focuses on helping young children.

Please tell us a bit about your average day in the office.
My day begins with e-mails from our back office which sends us all the unreconciled trades from the previous day for our trading division. My job is to investigate these and, to do so I work with our traders, our system’s support staff, our back office and a host of other departments. I also service over 1,000 investment advisors so the phone is a big part of my job. IA’s call to have trading errors corrected and to help them with just about any trading issues they may be having. No voice mail for this job!

What drove your interest to work in the investment industry?
To be honest, I never thought of myself as a person suited for the financial world. Looking back, my working here seems a matter of fate, but the years have shown me that in fact my personality was perfectly suited for this job.

Do you find the work you do satisfying? If yes, why?
This job is very satisfying in that it requires an immediate and timely response to some very specific problems. Therefore, you have instant gratification from all the constant problem solving. It does require a lot of energy. You’re giving your full attention to every call and every problem and believe me, when the markets are volatile everyone is calling you. I really enjoy my days – even the crazy ones – and that has a lot to do with the great team I work with which makes up our Trading desk.

How do you see the industry helping investors and the Canadian economy as a whole?
Investors today have so much more information at hand, as well as having the tools to do their own online trading. That being said, I believe that with low interest rates and unsure markets, more than ever the Investment Advisor is key to ensuring an optimal portfolio. Sound investments with ever more interesting products make for a good economy.

Would you recommend a career in the investment industry to a young Canadian considering his/her career options? If yes, why?
My job really keeps you on your toes and so I do recommend it for those who fear having a boring day and for anyone who genuinely enjoys being of service.

 

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Razi Hasan

Associate Research Analyst
3Macs
Montreal, QC

How long have you worked in the industry?
I have worked in the industry since 2006.

Please tell us about any volunteer activities you may be involved in.
Regrettably, I don’t have much spare time these days!

Please tell us a bit about your average day in the office.
I have recently changed career paths from Compliance to Research. In my Compliance role, an average day meant dealing with every facet of the Firm; from social media to suitability reviews allowing me to work alongside all departments. My role in Research, while still very new, has allowed me to better concentrate my time on areas of equities analysis and support of our Senior Analysts.

What drove your interest to work in the investment industry?
My education is in Finance so the investment industry was a natural transition from university. I had began my career with one of the big 5 banks working on the servicing side of the industry. I changed gears and decided to work on the investment management side of the business. Along the way I was fortunate to be exposed to various areas of the business which gave me a better understanding of how the industry works while at the same time solidifying my goal to work in Research in some capacity.

Do you find the work you do satisfying? If yes, why?
I do. Getting one step closer to your desired goal, be it your career path or a daily task is worth all the investment you put in yourself and your work. Satisfaction, to me, is the ability to keep moving forward through thick and thin, and seeing the fruits of your labor. I am fortunate to work with great people and in a role that I have been working towards since the onset of my career.

How do you see the industry helping investors and the Canadian economy as a whole?
The industry is only as good as the sum of its parts, so helping investors begins at the firm level. The industry must earn investor confidence and trust, and as such, investment firms and by an extension the entire industry, must address everyday issues affecting Canadians of all demographics. At 3Macs we are putting this plan in action by dedicating a section on our website where we address common investment themes and create a dialogue with our clients by surveying their opinions and giving them insight on everyday investment concerns.

Would you recommend a career in the investment industry to a young Canadian considering his/her career options? If yes, why?
I would. First, recognize that as an employee you are not another cog in the machine, what you do matters and affects the wellbeing of the investment community at large. This is demonstrated by a given job function, from Compliance; where you help to ensure investors are being protected to research where your investment ideas cater to a stated investment objective. Finally, if you do good work, it will be recognized at some point, but you must be persistent.

 

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Ron Rak

Assistant Operations Manager
Odlum Brown
Vancouver, BC

How long have you worked in the industry?
Almost too long for me to remember, I started with a small firm in Regina called Houston Willoughby in 1982. I have been at Odlum Brown Limited since 2000.

Please tell us about any volunteer activities you may be involved in.
Most of my work with charities evolves around Odlum Brown. In particular, we are a huge supporter of the United Way. We run a number of activities during the year to raise money, build teamwork and have a little fun along the way.

Please tell us a bit about your average day in the office.
I usually begin my day going through all my emails and tasks that have been set up to ensure I get everything done that day that requires my attention.

I oversee three departments in the Client Services area of Odlum Brown so a lot of my day is spent answering questions and approving work done by my staff.

What drove your interest to work in the investment industry?
I am not sure I was looking specifically at the Investment Industry, I had just graduated with a Finance degree and the opportunity to join Houston Willoughby came along and I grabbed it. I found I enjoyed the work and I am still enjoying it 32 years later.

Do you find the work you do satisfying? If yes, why?
I have worked in the back office my whole career and for the most part it has been very enjoyable. When you work at a company with good people and common goals it is always a pleasure to come to work.

It is also a challenge to keep up with all the new regulations, particularly in Tax Reporting, such as FATCA, IRS Cost Basis, NR301 and T1135.

How do you see the industry helping investors and the Canadian economy as a whole?
Clients see so much more information regarding the makeup and performance of their accounts than when I first started out in the industry. Back then all you received on your month-end statement was a list of transactions and your holdings that did not even have market values.

The better advice your clients receive, the better investments they make and the more disposable income they have to put back into the economy.

Would you recommend a career in the investment industry to a young Canadian considering his/her career options? If yes, why?
Yes, I would recommend a career in the investment industry. Whether it is in sales or the back office, the keys to success are to work hard and further your education whenever you get the chance. If you think you can get rich quick, well you are mistaken and have watched the Wolf of Wall Street one too many times.

 

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Helen Campbell

Marketing & Business Development Specialist
Burgeonvest Bick Securities
Hamilton, ON

How long have you worked in the industry?
I began working in the investment industry back in 2008.

Please tell us about any volunteer activities you may be involved in.
I sit on the board for an amazing group of musicians for the HASJB (Hamilton All-Star Jazz Band), where I volunteer my services to help drive social media and high-end marketing hand-outs. I participated in the Relay for Life for a few years and help with my local community food drives.I would love to get more involved with Youth at Risk, so I will most likely be researching how I can be of assistance in that area when I am able.

Please tell us a bit about your average day in the office.
My day is ever changing. I begin by prioritizing emails and deadlines for the day. I will then scope out the social media outlets that we use (twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook), quickly peek at our website analytics and read the lasted financial social media trends. (One of my favourite sites is “Mashable”.) I try to get in front of the advisors on a regular basis to ensure I am doing all I can to help increase their profile awareness.

What drove your interest to work in the investment industry?
It found me, to tell you the truth. I was scouted and asked to complete an employment profile – turns out I was highly suited.

Do you find the work you do satisfying? If yes, why?
My work is challenging, but when an Advisor tells me they received a new client due to their visibility (a website we created) or a client tells them they saw our commercial on CHCH it brings me an enormous amount of satisfaction. Also, many of our advisors are just beginning to embrace social media and I get calls from them telling me they have new followers and it’s great to hear the excitement in their voices. Our All-In Marketing program offers the participating Advisors many advantages of a hands-on personalized approach. I will meet with them when it’s convenient and sit down and really listen to what they are looking to accomplish. Together, we formulate a plan that is tailor-made to their practice. Our Investment advisors here at BBSL are diverse, however, the one constant is their real desire to help their clients. It was easy for me to implement our Mission Statement of “We’re Here to Help” because we really are. We have a great team here – our 7 branches come together to support one another at our Annual Conferences and PD (professional development) days, as well as many sponsorship volunteer teams for Around the Bay or Ride for Heart. They are a great bunch.

How do you see the industry helping investors and the Canadian economy as a whole?
The investment world has changed for the better (in my opinion). Investors today are better protected with the regulations put in place to ensure they are receiving the best financial advice available to them. We live in a money-driven society that relies on investors. Smart financial decisions make for a healthy economy.

Would you recommend a career in the investment industry to a young Canadian considering his/her career options?” If yes, why?
It isn’t an easy career choice, but like anything worthwhile, hard work, dedication and the real desire to improve someone’s life will be a fulfilling one.

 

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Khalid Djebbari

Institutional Client Services
Desjardins
Montreal, QC

How long have you worked in the industry?
I have been working in the industry since 2011. I started as a Financial Adviser for Laurentian Bank and I developed portfolios of existing and potential customers. I have been working for Desjardins Group’s back office in the administration of securities for two years.

Please tell us about any volunteer activities you may be involved in.
I am involved with our Event Committee, which organizes activities to mobilize employees by having them participate in different activities besides working e.g. Christmas party, Halloween, etc.

Please tell us a bit about your average day in the office.
I analyze settlement problems and develop appropriate recommendations for our client’s managers with the trades they have in the Canadian market. I also prepare monthly reports for statistical issues, and recommend solutions upon manager’s requests.

What drove your interest to work in the investment industry?
I completed a Bachelor Degree in Finance and I am currently enrolled in a Master’s of Finance program. In other words, my education drove me to work in this field.

Do you find the work you do satisfying?
My job fulfills me every time I resolve a problem related to my field of work(and believe me, there are many).

How do you see the industry helping investors and the Canadian economy as a whole?
I think that our industry is an element to stimulate the economy, with people investing in Canadian companies that help build infrastructures and provide services. The key is to keep the investors informed and confident in the quality of the market.

Would you recommend a career in the investment industry to a young Canadian considering his/her career options?”
I highly recommend this career because it is rewarding, exciting and challenging. It involves constant innovation and learning.

 

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George Carter

Investment Associate
Manulife Securities
Halifax, NS

How long have you worked in the industry?
I’ve been working in the industry since 1998, all the while as an Investment Associate to Rob Peters, Senior Investment Advisor, Manulife Securities. I’m also a 25-year member of the Rotary Club of Halifax Northwest, including a stint as President in 1999, and am very proud of our charitable contributions to the community we serve.

Please describe an average day for you in the office.
The first thing I do, of course, is check the markets here in Canada and elsewhere around the globe. A typical day always includes discussions with our clients – at least 5 per day lasting approximately 3 hours in total.

What drove your interest to work in the investment industry?
I started getting involved with my own investments to the point that it became a serious hobby. The more I learned about market activity, the more I decided I wanted to turn my hobby into a full-time career. And so, I started the process of fulfilling my registration requirements.

Do you find the work you do satisfying? If yes, why?
When things go according to plan for your clients, yes, the work is very satisfying. That said, it’s been a tough few years.

How do you see the industry helping investors and the Canadian economy as a whole?
We help Canadians save for their retirements. With a population that’s aging more and more each year, this industry has never been more relevant.

Would you recommend a career in the investment industry to a young Canadian considering his/her career options?” If yes, why?
I can see there will be an even greater need for compliance and IT experts in the coming years. For young people interested in working in a challenging and high compensation profession, they should consider pursuing careers in these areas.