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Financial Services Career Map

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Retail

The Retail Sector includes roles serving the general public or small business owners, generally in a sales, marketing, advisory or servicing capacity. This sector offers the greatest employment opportunity as it encompasses the distribution networks of Canada's banks, credit unions, securities dealers, mutual fund dealers and insurance companies. In addition to those who work for an employer, many people choose to be an independent agent, broker or financial planner/advisor.

Management/Supervisory:

Responsible for ensuring that staff at the branch, regional or head office level, follow processes and procedures that comply with corporate and regulatory policies. Management and supervisory roles also often have accountability for building the business, either by growing the customer base or sales revenue. Most managers and supervisors have previously worked in the role that they are now supervising.

Bank:

Industry sector includes chartered banks, credit unions and caisses populaires.

Investment Dealer:

Security firms that have been licensed by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) to deal in a wide range of investment vehicles including equities (stocks), fixed-income securities, money market securities, mutual funds, derivatives and alternative investments. On the retail side, includes both full service and discount brokerages.

Mutual Fund Dealer

Firms that are regulated by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) to deal with clients in mutual funds.

Advice:

Employees or independent agents/brokers who evaluate the needs and goals of individuals and small businesses and develop a financial plan that helps clients meet these objectives. The plan includes recommending suitable investment and financial products and/or services.

Transactional:

Employees in the retail sector who perform jobs largely concerned with carrying out client requests and not providing advice.

Insurance and Mutual Fund:

Participants in this industry sector are licensed to sell both insurance (health, life, property and casualty) and mutual funds.

Insurance:

Industry sector focusing on insuring individuals, groups and/or businesses against loss or harm.

Back Office

Back Office employees provide administrative support to the organization. Some of the functions that they provide include settlements, clearances, transfers, record maintenance and accounting. Their clients are generally internal to the organization they work for, although occasionally their services can be outsourced to other companies who, for economic reasons, may choose not to have their own back office facilities.

Institutional / Corporate

This sector works with institutions such as corporations and governments to help manage their short and long term financing requirements. Short-term financing requirements focus on managing cash/investments and short-term borrowing and lending. Long-term financing requires evaluating and choosing the appropriate financial instruments to finance capital projects or expansion. Advice and deal implementation related to mergers and acquisitions also fall into this sector.

The institutional area of a securities dealer also caters to mutual fund, hedge fund and pension fund managers by providing research and equity, fixed income and derivatives trading capabilities to help them fulfil their investment mandates. In addition to providing research and trading services for external clients, the securities dealer will also trade for its own account, known as proprietary trading.

Middle Office

The middle office is the interface between the front and back office. Middle office roles cover a wide range of skills and backgrounds. Some facilitate operational processes and support the front office in their distribution of products and services. These roles can include Marketing, Human Resources, and Information Technology.

Most importantly, there are those employees whose responsibility is to ensure the integrity of the business and manage business risk. Compliance ensures that the organization conforms to government regulatory requirements. Risk management deals with a wide range of risk issues that could negatively impact the profitability and financial integrity of the business.

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Required & Recommended Credentials and Courses

Below are the courses and credentials required and/or recommended for this career.

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Retail

The Retail Sector includes roles serving the general public or small business owners, generally in a sales, marketing, advisory or servicing capacity. This sector offers the greatest employment opportunity as it encompasses the distribution networks of Canada's banks, credit unions, securities dealers, mutual fund dealers and insurance companies. In addition to those who work for an employer, many people choose to be an independent agent, broker or financial planner/advisor.

Management/Supervisory:

Responsible for ensuring that staff at the branch, regional or head office level, follow processes and procedures that comply with corporate and regulatory policies. Management and supervisory roles also often have accountability for building the business, either by growing the customer base or sales revenue. Most managers and supervisors have previously worked in the role that they are now supervising.

Bank:

Industry sector includes chartered banks, credit unions and caisses populaires.

Investment Dealer:

Security firms that have been licensed by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) to deal in a wide range of investment vehicles including equities (stocks), fixed-income securities, money market securities, mutual funds, derivatives and alternative investments. On the retail side, includes both full service and discount brokerages.

Mutual Fund Dealer:

Firms that are regulated by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) to deal with clients in mutual funds.

Advice:

Employees or independent agents/brokers who evaluate the needs and goals of individuals and small businesses and develop a financial plan that helps clients meet these objectives. The plan includes recommending suitable investment and financial products and/or services.

Transactional:

Employees in the retail sector who perform jobs largely concerned with carrying out client requests and not providing advice.

Insurance and Mutual Fund:

Participants in this industry sector are licensed to sell both insurance (health, life, property and casualty) and mutual funds.

Insurance:

Industry sector focusing on insuring individuals, groups and/or businesses against loss or harm.

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Back Office

Back Office employees provide administrative support to the organization. Some of the functions that they provide include settlements, clearances, transfers, record maintenance and accounting. Their clients are generally internal to the organization they work for, although occasionally their services can be outsourced to other companies who, for economic reasons, may choose not to have their own back office facilities.

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Institutional / Corporate

This sector works with institutions such as corporations and governments to help manage their short and long term financing requirements. Short-term financing requirements focus on managing cash/investments and short-term borrowing and lending. Long-term financing requires evaluating and choosing the appropriate financial instruments to finance capital projects or expansion. Advice and deal implementation related to mergers and acquisitions also fall into this sector.

The institutional area of a securities dealer also caters to mutual fund, hedge fund and pension fund managers by providing research and equity, fixed income and derivatives trading capabilities to help them fulfil their investment mandates. In addition to providing research and trading services for external clients, the securities dealer will also trade for its own account, known as proprietary trading.

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Middle Office

The middle office is the interface between the front and back office. Middle office roles cover a wide range of skills and backgrounds. Some facilitate operational processes and support the front office in their distribution of products and services. These roles can include Marketing, Human Resources, and Information Technology.

Most importantly, there are those employees whose responsibility is to ensure the integrity of the business and manage business risk. Compliance ensures that the organization conforms to government regulatory requirements. Risk management deals with a wide range of risk issues that could negatively impact the profitability and financial integrity of the business.

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Financial Services Careers

The Financial Services Industry in Canada is one of the largest contributors to the country's economy. The industry employs approximately 680,000 people and the includes banks, credit unions/caisses populaires, securities dealers, mutual fund dealers, investment management firms, mutual fund managers, life, property and casualty insurance companies, and finance and leasing companies.

Not surprisingly, the banks, credit unions, and their supporting services are the largest employers in the sector with almost 365,000 employees, or over 50% of those employed in the financial services industry. The insurance sector, including life, health, property and casualty offers employment to over 190,000 positions, or just under 30%. The securities, commodities and investment sector is the smallest with just under 115,000 positions, or 20%.

The sector is highly integrated. The traditional four 'pillars' (banks, trust companies, insurers and securities dealers) and have been largely replaced by "financial groups" or conglomerates who offer a wide range of products and services. In light of the high degree of consolidation, we have grouped the roles not in terms of employers, but as front, middle and back office positions. Front office positions have been further sub-divided into the retail and institutional/corporate sectors.

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Definitions

Credential

A credential is a designation or a certificate that an individual earns after meeting academic and/or ongoing professional standards.

Designation

A designation is earned when an individual completes a rigorous educational program, attains relevant professional experience and agrees to abide by standards of professionalism. To maintain the designation, these standards of professionalism and membership requirements need to be met continually.

Certificate

Upon completion of an educational program, a certificate indicates that an individual has acquired the technical or academic knowledge of a specialized financial services field. There are no ongoing certification or membership requirements or services provided.

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Need Help?

If you are exploring this Career Map then you might be feeling a little bit lost - or maybe just curious - about your career options in financial services. Whether you are new to the industry or are looking to change career direction, our mapping approach will allow you to quickly identify and explore your options. Once you have identified a position of interest on the map, a quick click will take you to information key to understanding the role and how to get there. You can also input many CSI courses and credentials and identify those positions that require or would benefit from your educational investment.

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