Alberta’s finance sector is strong,
stable and on the rise

Alberta is embracing the digital transformation and changing the way finance works

Driven by consumer demand, the technological revolution within the international financial services sector will only accelerate in the years to come. Alberta will be at the forefront of this dynamic change.

The low cost of doing business and concentration of capital from corporate head offices makes Alberta one of the most welcoming places for financial firms.

Here you’ll find both world’s largest finance players intermixed with exciting fintech startups, all supported and driven by a skilled workforce.

As one of the most entrepreneurial province in Canada, Alberta is also connecting innovative fintech firms with the capital needed to grow — changing the way finance works.

Aerial shot of downtown Calgary and Bow River in the fall

© Travel Alberta. Photo by Dave Lieske

Alberta Stories

Bitcoin Well

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. From 2008 to 2018, the sector grew 38% — outpacing every other province in Canada.

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.

Calgary ranked a Top 20 fintech hub to watch in 2020

~ Global Fintech Index City Ranking

Calgary, Alberta

© Travel Alberta. Photo by Brett Dietterle

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

Fintech

  • Cryptocurrency & blockchain
  • InsurTech
  • PayTech
  • Personal Finance/Wealthtech
  • Regulatory Tech
  • Crowdfunding
  • Software

As the most entrepreneurial province in Canada, Alberta is developing innovative solutions and changing how finance works.

ESG

  • Clean energy
  • Sustainable investing/ESG assets

Alberta’s history and expertise in energy financing, positions the province to finance the energy transition.

Re-insurance

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

Robust workforce

Alberta’s financial services and insurance sector employs 63,800 people

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)

Business Friendly

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

Innovative regulations

The Alberta Security Commission expanded self-certified investors’ eligibility based on knowledge and experience

Entrepreneurial spirit

Alberta has the highest entrepreneurial initiative in Canada (Brookfield Institute, 2021)

Global Connectivity

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

Pro-business climate

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

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Solium reaches unicorn status after acquisition by Morgan Stanley

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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.

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Edmonton skyline

© Travel Alberta. Photo by Sameer Ahmed