The concentration of capital-intensive industries has created strong demand for a robust, innovative financial services sector in Alberta. As a result, the province has developed world-class expertise in niche sectors, such as asset management, trading, mergers and acquisition, corporate banking and equity issuance.
Fuelled by high levels of investment in the energy sector, Alberta’s financial services have seen exceptional growth over the past decade. The sector’s 10-year (2011-2021) growth rate of 38.7% is higher than Canada’s average financial sector growth rate in the same timespan (35%).
Financial Services Concierge
Your single point of contact for navigating financial sector legislation and regulation in Alberta.
A global finance hub
Calgary is regarded as one of Canada’s four global finance centres, with a cluster of 1,400+ financial services companies that employ more than 20,000 people. It is also home to an emerging fintech hub.
The city’s strong corporate presence, high individual wealth and high-deal velocity make it an attractive market for financial firms. Calgary is also well-integrated with global markets. Seventy-five percent of the top 20 global investment banks have branch offices in Alberta.
Edmonton is one of Canada’s leading centres for asset management and banking entrepreneurship. Four of Western Canada’s largest financial institutions are headquartered in Edmonton, including one of the country’s largest institutional investment fund managers.
Rapid growth in fintech
The strength of Alberta’s financial sector and the trend toward digitalization has spurred the growth of numerous fintech companies. With a growth projection of 11 per cent year-over-year, the province is forecasted to spend $1.1 billion in digital transformation of financial services by 2022.
The province’s fintech firms specialize in in blockchain, cryptocurrency, insurtech, paytech, capital markets and investments, wealthtech, and software.
Investors are taking note of Alberta’s emerging fintech sector. With three fintech unicorns, the province is not only developing innovative products but connecting with the capital needed to grow.
Alberta’s financial sector advantage
Alberta’s financial sector is supported by a talented, highly productive workforce. Home to two of Canada’s top 10 business schools, the province also boasts expertise in areas like artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Banks headquartered in Alberta have invested in local research partners to leverage these technologies.
Labour productivity in Calgary’s financial sector is 25% higher than the Canadian average and the city boasts plenty of prime, affordable office space. A sound banking system and low taxes also make Alberta an ideal place to launch or relocate a financial firm.
Areas of Focus
- Cryptocurrency & blockchain
- Personal Finance/Wealthtech
- Regulatory Tech
As the most entrepreneurial province in Canada, Alberta is developing innovative solutions and changing how finance works.
- Clean energy
- Sustainable investing/ESG assets
Alberta’s history and expertise in energy financing, positions the province to finance the energy transition.
Alberta is becoming a globally competitive insurance destination with improved legislation for captive and reinsurance markets. The province is a market for creating innovative uncorrelated financial products including insurance linked securities (ILS) and debt and equity securities.
Talent & Productivity
Alberta’s financial sector is supported by a talented, highly productive workforce and top university programs
Alberta’s financial services and insurance sector employs 65,100 people (Statistics Canada, 2021)
Two of Canada’s top 10 business schools
Home to the University of Alberta School of Business (#4) and the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business (#10)
Most productive workforce in Canada
Labour productivity in Calgary’s financial sector is 25% higher than the Canadian average (Conference Board of Canada, CED 2017)
Alberta’s policies and incentives mirror its entrepreneurial mindset
Affordable office space
Calgary and Edmonton have the most affordable downtown Class A office space in the country
The Alberta Security Commission expanded self-certified investors’ eligibility based on knowledge and experience
Alberta has the highest entrepreneurial initiative in Canada (Brookfield Institute, 2021)
Alberta’s financial services sector is strong, stable and well-connected
World’s most prominent players
Major firms with a presence in Alberta include JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Barclay’s
Hub for office headquarters
Calgary has the most corporate head offices per capita in Canada
Canada was ranked as the 9th most economically free country in the world
Safe place for your money
Six major Canadian banks were listed as the top 10 most secure in North America (World’s Safest Bank, 2019)
Sound banking system
Canada’s banking system has consistently been ranked as one of the soundest in the world by the World Economic Forum
Alberta StoriesSee All Alberta Stories
Catalyx offers the largest selection of cryptocurrencies in Canada
Following the exponential rise of cryptocurrencies, Caltalyx is providing Canadians with a secure cryptocurrency exchange. Using industry leading technology, Caltalyx is building trust between traders and those new to crypto markets. Caltalyx is an important contributor to the growing blockchain industry in Alberta, collaborating with key players to position the province as an emerging crypto…Read More
Neo Financial raises $50M during unprecedented year of VC inflow
Neo Financial is revolutionizing spending and rewards by leveraging technology and partnering with leading financial institutions. The Calgary-based startup, led by former SkipTheDishes co-founders, is making rewards more accessible to Canadians. In 2020, it raised one of the largest Series A rounds in Western Canada, during an unprecedented year of VC inflow to Alberta startups.Read More
Bitcoin Well increases accessibility of cryptocurrencies
Based in Edmonton, Bitcoin Well not only offers a secure exchange for Canadians interested in cryptocurrencies, but also acts a source of information on the emerging industry. The company is working to increase the adoption of cryptocurrencies amongst Canadians and operates more than 100 crypto ATMs across the country. Bitcoin Well saw record growth in…Read More
Solium reaches unicorn status after acquisition by Morgan Stanley
Launched in 1999 as Solium Capital, the company helped establish the fintech ecosystem in Alberta. It developed an intuitive stock plan administration platform, which serves over 3,000 clients, with 1 million participants. In 2019, Solium was purchased by Morgan Stanley for over $1 billion, the 6th largest fintech deal in the Americas that year. The…Read More
Katipult simplifies equity transactions for both companies and investors
Based in Calgary, Katipult provides crowdfunding investment software infrastructure for private market companies and investors. Aligning with over 20 regulatory jurisdictions, Katipult uses blockchain technology to help grow and manage investment networks. The startup has brought international attention to Calgary’s tech scene and won RBC’s Emerging Enterprise of the Year Award in 2011.Read More
Alberta’s financial sector is growing with the help of these companies.
In Alberta, you’ll find the world’s largest finance players intermixed with exciting fintech startups.