Winnipeg has a long history as a major financial centre. The financial services sector contributes nearly $4 billion to Manitoba’s gross domestic product. Winnipeg’s finance and insurance sector benefits from a competitive overall business cost environment relative to most other centres, a highly skilled workforce with very low turnover, excellent university and training institutions and central location. The Winnipeg region’s financial services industry is largely service-based. This industry is one of the oldest in the region, with areas of expertise including chartered banks, credit unions, venture capital funds, trust companies, investment and financial planning services, leasing industries and insurance companies.
The financial services industry is one of the most complete in the Winnipeg region, benefitting from the presence of numerous central factors that represent its divergent interests. The advent of more advanced technologies has also given this industry tremendous potential to offer a broader range of services to markets across North America. In addition to the more traditional financial services, this industry has come to include online recruitment, strategies, phone pay systems and fully integrated products for payroll and human resources applications.
Winnipeg is the headquarters for some of Canada’s prominent investment firms and insurance companies. A total of 25,000 people are directly employed in the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing industry sector in Winnipeg, representing close to 80% of Manitoba’s total. About 2,500 business establishments in the financial sector operate out of Winnipeg.
Winnipeg’s position as a major financial centre is largely due to the presence of Great-West Life Assurance Company, a leading insurance company in Canada, and IGM Financial Inc. (Investors Group), the largest manager and distributor of mutual funds and other managed asset products in Canada. In fact, Winnipeg is now one of Canada’s largest financial services centres in terms of financial assets. The insurance industry in Winnipeg has grown faster than most other major Canadian cities.
On December 31, 2000, Great-West conveyed ownership of its United States subsidiary, Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company (GWL&A) to a newly-formed subsidiary of its parent, Great-West Lifeco Inc. Great-West and GWL&A are now sister companies, focused on their respective markets – Great-West in Canada and GWL&A in the United States. In 2004 Great West Lifeco Inc.’s revenues were reported at approximately $21.7 billion and assets were over $95 billion. The company employs approximately 4,000 people nationally with about one-half based in Winnipeg.
In 2004, IGM Financial Inc. reported $2.1 billion in revenue and recently IGM acquired Toronto-based Mackenzie Financial Group.
Areas of expertise:
- banking (consumer, commercial investment)
- mutual finds
- investment dealers and security firms
- venture capital funds
- vehicle and equipment leasing
- wealth management services
Major financial services companies located in Winnipeg:
- Great-West Life – www.gwl.ca
- IGM Financial – www.investorsgroup.com
- The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company – www.wawanesa.com
- Manitoba Public Insurance – www.mpi.mb.ca
- National Leasing Group Incorporated – www.nationalleasing.com/index2.php
- Ceridian Canada Ltd.* – www.ceridian.ca/en/index.html
- Manitoba Crop Insurance Corporation
- Credit Union Central – www.creditunion.mb.ca
- Federated Insurance Companies of Canada Limited – www.federated.ca
- Rice Financial – www.ricefinancial.com/index3.htm
- Tribal Councils Investment Group – www.tcig.biz
- ADAPSYS – www.adapsys.ca