Look at the numbers: Winnipeg’s financial services sector is one of the largest in the country. It employs more than 19,400 workers where 40 per cent is represented by insurance industry. It encompasses banking, leasing, insurance, securities, mutual funds and venture financing. Some of the biggest names in the business are headquartered here, and Winnipeg’s pioneering spirit has given rise to important advances in this sector that are now commonplace across the country.
First in Canada to develop electronic bill payments—eliminating the need for traditional paper cheques—Winnipeg-based Telpay was founded in 1985 as the R&D division of payroll innovator Comcheq Services. Telpay has since evolved into Canada’s biggest independent electronic bill payment company, processing transactions worth over $17.7 billion in 2017.
A similar Winnipeg success story with a growing national presence is Payworks. Since its inception in 2001, Payworks has been headquartered in Winnipeg with regional presence in ten offices across Canada. With more than 200 employees and growing, Payworks provide workforce management solutions to over 17,000 clients across Canada in all industries.
Investors Group, one of the largest mutual fund distributors in Canada, is also based here. And so is Great-West Lifeco, an international financial services holding company. Its Canadian operating companies, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, serve the financial security needs of more than a third of all Canadians and employ nearly 2,500 people in Winnipeg. If you have a focus on commerce, opportunities grow richer in Winnipeg.
Winnipeg is one of just seven cities in Canada with a competitive financial services sector. And as one of North America’s most cost-effective cities for financial services operations, Winnipeg is an ideal location for financial services firms looking for a location from which to serve the world.
Canada is one of the world’s leading centres for offshoring and nearshoring of back-office operations and Winnipeg has been ranked the third most cost competitive location for contact centres and back office outsourcing in Canada – KPMG Competitive Alternatives 2016. Winnipeg’s financial services firms operate extensive contact centre and back office financial services functions in Winnipeg.
- All of the ‘big six’ Canadian banks have significant operations in Winnipeg. These institutions manage combined assets of $4.7 trillion.
- Great-West Lifeco Inc., Canada’s largest insurer, operates subsidiaries in Canada, the U.S. and Europe and manages more than $1.2 trillion in consolidated assets.
- There more than 5,217 financial services establishments active in Winnipeg. (Winnipeg CMA, Statistics Canada, 2016)
- The insurance industry represents the largest financial services employer in Winnipeg, employing 7,800 workers or 40 per cent of the sector's labour force. (Winnipeg CMA, Statistics Canada, 2016)
Great-West Lifeco Inc.'s consolidated assets
Workers in financial industry in Winnipeg (CMA)
Financial services establishments in Winnipeg (CMA)
Banks all have major operations in Winnipeg (CMA)
Sources: Great-West Lifeco Inc.'s Canada, US and Europe, Annual Report (2016), Statistics Canada (2016), Economic Development Winnipeg (2016)