(Originally published in the January 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal - Outlook 2012 Special Edition)
Nova Scotia has a long history in the financial services sector, centered around banking and insurance. In the past few years, we have seen growth in alternative areas such as fund administration and re-insurance. We have attracted some of the top financial companies in the world including Citco Fund Services, Flagstone Re-insurance and Marsh Captive Solutions.
These international firms have created global exposure for Nova Scotia and added hundreds of new jobs to the province. They have also been a source of new technologies and ideas that enhance the competitiveness of Nova Scotia’s financial services industry.
A 2011 KPMG report for NSBI concluded that middle and back office expansion is the preferred financial services growth opportunity for Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia offers several key advantages including competitive costs, skilled labour and a strategic “nearshore” location. Middle and back office operations employ a wide range of professionals such as chartered accountants, chartered financial analysts and actuaries.
In spite of a fragile economy, the industry has survived in Nova Scotia and is starting to show signs of growth. We continue to be aggressive trying to attract new businesses and we expect new companies will join the ranks of Nova Scotia’s financial services sector.
One of our biggest challenges is the lack of awareness of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia needs to be top of mind when companies are making expansion decisions. We know when we sit in front of international financial services firms looking to expand their back and middle office locations, it is clear to these companies that Nova Scotia has the essential strengths to be their location of choice.
Did you know...
• The financial services industry (including insurance) employs approximately 16,000 people.
• These people have average weekly earnings 20 per cent higher than the provincial average.
• The sector accounted for approximately five per cent of the provincial GDP in 2010.
*Outlook 2012 Special Edition: Read more about what 2012 holds for Nova Scotia's top industries at: http://www.ns.dailybusinessbuzz.ca/Industry-Spotlight-17342