Relocating to Vancouver!

I’m moving from Dublin to Vancouver in the coming months and I was wondering if anyone could give me guidance on the job market? I’m a level II candidate, have 3.5 years experience in the BIG 4 where I became an ACA (CPA equivalent) and have since done 2 years in a front office fixed income role in asset management company (some passive funds, small bit of active exposure and fund of funds experience). Thanks!

Do you have a work visa for Canada; if so, what kind?

2 year working visa, hope to extend obv if things go well.

Not much big finance in Vancouver. A few boutique investment banking shops focused on mining, you’ve got PH&N (not sure what’s left now with RBC takeover). I know Scotia had a very small fixed income desk there back in the day, but not sure if it’s still there. Several small asset managers too of course. bcIMC is across the strait in Victoria and they’re always looking for people (I see tons of quality jobs listed there all the time). But you’d have to live in Victoria, which is, for most, undesirable. Desired skills in Vancouver: Mining background, Cantonese speaker, Asian market experience. Your hours will be starting real early, maybe 5am. Its a laid back lifestyle there though. Real estate is expensive, even by Dublin standards. If you’re living downtown, you’ll have a small 400sqft box for $2k. Commuting there sucks. But it is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Easily. Get your Canadian CA/CPA as soon as possible. Its a big difference. No one takes ACA as seriously here. Its Canadian credential or nothing. Welcome to Canada!

Whoa whoa whoa… Victoria is a great city! I’ve spent a fair bit of time there and have plenty of friends that live there and they all love it. Everything else is spot on though.

Welcome to Canada!

^ I don’t mind it to visit in winter and play a little golf, but most find it very isolated.

I’ve been considering Vancouver as a new home base too.

One thing not yet mentioned…I heard taxes really blow.

^ Compared to what? Texas, yes. New York? Vancouver is probably cheaper, definitely cheaper if health care is factored in. The sales tax kind of sucks though.

Very little finance in Vancouver and few CFA jobs. The NDP party anti business policies scared the stock exchange and most businesses out of BC and they relocated to Alberta etc. The housing here is extremely expensive because overseas investors have driven prices up way out of reach of those that live here. So be prepared for a competitive job market and spending a bit more on housing expenses.

I echo the same sentiments as the others. There is very little finance in Vancouver. If I was moving to Canada I would either move to Calgary or Toronto, although very very tough job markets, it is still better than Vancouver.

On a recent trip from Vancouver, I read an article while at the airport that Canada has the second most educated job force in the developed world behind Russia. Japan was number 3, then Israel @ 4 and lastly the US @ 5. So all foreigners deciding to come to work here in Canada, you will have a better chance at employment if you have an education from a great school that is highly recognized here.

Show me someone who doesn’t have an MBA or a CFA today - everybody has it. It is a running joke now with the MDs at my shop. They are highering and looking at resumes from people that are 100x smarter and more educated than they are for entry level finance. It is the nature of the market now. Shops like CPPIB and OMERS now request masters level or PHD level quant students more than CAs, CFAs, or MBAs. I do have both MBA and CFA but I am a little older (late 30s) - a previous generation altogether and hit the job market when it was really good so my education has paid off for me.

Those are my thoughts on what I have been noticing. On the brighter side, I do have a friend who plays soccer with me on the weekend who has been in Canada for almost 2 years now and is born, raised and educated in Ireland and got a job in mid-market corporate banking here in Toronto. He hates the winters here, especially last year’s, but says overall it is a better life than Ireland. He makes good money for just being here only a short time and the plus is he is getting North American training.

I don’t know why anyone would want to move to Canada to pursue a finance career.

So you’re saying that a new undergrad would have no chance at these jobs? I’ve been applying to CPPIB and OMERS but have not gotten a response. I graduated with a finance degree but absolutely no work experience. I did work over the summers when I was at school but nothing FO/BO related.

Are you kidding? If I lived in Afghanistan or Pakistan or India etc I’d be delighted to move to Canada – job or no job.

Depends which Ireland I suppose. I have heard the Rep of Cork is an absolute haven

First by lumping India in with the other two you conform to the stereotype of opiniated and ignorant American, well done.

Second, some of us do just fine where we are, thank you very much.

You’re better off trying London if you want a decent shot in finance.

Do finance careers only exist in NYC, London, Tokyo and Singapore? I wasn’t aware…

^ Good ones, yeah.


I read that Vancouver has the most expensive housing market in North America.

^ It did during the housing crisis in the US. I’m guessing Manhattan is now back on top.