Montréal: a world financial capital on the rise

published on March 15, 2018
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Blending creativity and history, Montréal is beloved as a great place to visit for both tourists and professionals alike. While we’re certainly proud of this reputation, there’s also a lot going behind the scenes that mark Montréal as an economic powerhouse, including a rising global finance sector that’s making its presence felt the world over.

The more than 3,000 financial organizations based in the city employ over 100,000 skilled workers, 25,000 of whom are financial specialists. Finance Montréal unites the sector into a cluster of forward-thinking organizations all dedicated to the growth and development of the city’s financial scene. And the numbers add up: Montréal stands out on the financial scene for its expertise in funds management, the presence of well-established financial institutions, diversified risk capital options and internationally-recognized banking stability.


On the annual Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI), Montréal has long been a steady riser. The 2017 report places Montréal in 14th place internationally ahead of bustling financial centres like Frankfurt, Bangkok, and Melbourne, and in recent years the city has displayed the largest rise in ratings in the Americas.

As the financial epicentre of the province of Québec, all financial sectors are well-represented in the city: banks and other financial intermediaries, insurance companies and securities, pension funds and asset management consulting all play a part. Influential financial institutions including the National Bank of Canada, TD Bank Group, Laurentian Bank of Canada, the Desjardins Group, the BMO Financial Group, Power Corporation of Canada, Sun Life Financial, Standard Life, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec(CDPQ) and RBC Financial Group are all active in the city. Attractive tax credits and incentives have brought many players both big and small to the city, coupled with some of the most competitive operating costs in North America.

There’s a lot of history to back it all up too. Founded in 1874, the Montréal Exchange (MX) is Canada’s oldest stock exchange and is the only financial derivatives exchange in Canada and also specializes in information technology solutions and compensation services.


Montréal’s academic scene has also captured international attention, and in 2017 was voted the Best City in the World for Students. At present, over 5,200 students are studying finance at Montréal’s academic institutions, with 1,300 new graduates each and every year. No less than 30 university research units specializing in sectors such as derivatives, investment advisory and portfolio management, financial engineering, pension fund management, mathematical and computational finance, financial ethics, financial crime prevention and e-finance also mark our graduates as highly specialized – and highly employable – local assets.

For a simulated taste of the real world, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) offers a virtual trading floor that allows for complex simulations of stock exchange, money and derivative market trading and promotes the development of new indicators and financial instruments while Concordia University has an Investment and Trading Center, a portfolio management analysis and simulation tool available to students and professors.



Top financial sector employers in Montréal area:

  • Mouvement des Caisses Desjardins: the top financial institution of Québec with over 12,000 employees and 350 locations in the Montréal region
  • National Bank of Canada: the sixth largest bank in Canada with 8,600 employees and 140 locations in Greater Montréal
  • RBC Financial Group: over 4,600 employees and 100 locations in the Montréal region
  • BMO Financial Group: over 3,200 employees and 100 locations in Greater Montréal
  • Power Corporation of Canada: an international portfolio management company, employs more than 3,200 people in the Montréal region
  • TD Financial Group: over 3,000 employees and 70 locations in Greater Montréal
  • Laurentian Bank of Canada: over 2,000 employees and 75 locations in the Montréal region
  • CIBC Bank: over 1,750 employees and 70 locations in Greater Montréal
  • Standard Life Canada: over 1,500 employees and 10 locations in the Montréal region
  • Sun Life Financial: over 1,400 employees and 10 locations in Greater Montréal


Major financial institutions headquartered in Montréal:

  • The Montréal Stock Exchange (MX)
  • La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
  • Power Corporation of Canada
  • National Bank
  • Laurentian Bank


Montréal universities active in the financial sector:


Foreign subsidiaries operating in the financial sector with offices in Montréal:

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