A Head for Finance: Growing Financial Services Headquarters in Toronto

The Conference Board of Canada, 52 pages, September 10, 2014
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This report discusses the size, characteristics, and role of financial services headquarters in Toronto. It concludes with the results of a survey designed to identify the factors that make Toronto attractive for financial services headquarters, and things that can be improved upon to make the region even more attractive.

Document Highlights

In light of the fact that corporate headquarters bring highly skilled and well-compensated jobs to local communities, as well as spawn important secondary socio-economic impacts, it is important to understand their characteristics and benefits, and the key features that attract them.

Following a brief description of the characteristics and benefits of headquarters in general, this report looks at Toronto, Canada's corporate headquarters capital, with particular attention paid to the financial services sector—the city's third largest source of corporate headquarters employment.

In light of the importance of financial services headquarters to Toronto, the authors look at the factors that make Toronto attractive to this sector. They also identify areas that need improvement in order for Toronto to become an even more attractive destination. Of the things that make a city attractive to headquarters—for example, availability of skilled workers; the need for managers to obtain more international exposure and outside business expertise; and quality-of-life factors—transportation infrastructure was cited as most in need of improvement in Toronto.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

Chapter 2— Why Do We Care About Headquarters?

  • What Are Headquarters?
  • The Benefits of Headquarters
  • Key Features That Attract Headquarters

Chapter 3—Headquarters in Toronto

  • The Composition of Toronto’s Headquarters
  • Why Are Toronto’s Financial Institution Headquarters So Large?
  • The Concentration of Headquarters in Toronto

Chapter 4—Growing Financial Services Headquarters in Toronto

  • About the Survey and Survey Participants
  • Toronto’s Attractiveness as a Headquarters Location: A Comparison
  • Location Criteria for Financial Services Headquarters

Chapter 5—Conclusion

Appendix A—Bibliography

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