Home to five of the world’s top 10 banks and the second-largest CFA society in the world, the city attracts ambitious, skilled and diverse talent When the world’s most global bank went on the hunt for a new strategic Internal Audit hub, it turned to its Mississauga, Ontario-based operation, pointing to the abundance of young, skilled financial services professionals. When Jane Fraser became CEO at Citi in January 2021, one of her top priorities was to improve risk management at the world’s most global bank. New York-based Citi has about 200 million customer accounts in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. The internal audit team, which reports to key stakeholders, including Citi senior management and numerous global regulators, sought out a new strategic hub. It didn’t take long to choose Citi’s Mississauga, Ontario operation. Established in 2007 with fewer than 1,000 employees, it has grown by 20% each year, becoming a major technology development centre renowned within Citi for the output of its work in global markets, treasury and trade solutions and information services. “To place another important global team here was a significant win for us,” says Ian Ng, site president for Citi’s Mississauga Solutions Centre. “It’s a sign of confidence in our abilities.” Top financial talent Named one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People in 2022, Citi is able to recruit financial services professionals who reflect the remarkable range of cultures and perspectives of the company’s global clients. The internal audit group was impressed by Ontario’s highly skilled workforce and the steady stream of talent coming out of the province’s universities—9,000 chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and 88,000 certified public accountants (CPAs) alone. The nearby universities of Toronto and Waterloo, which attract the best and brightest students from all over the world, have a well-earned reputation for producing exceptional financial services professionals—a fact recognized by the “Big Four” accounting firms, all of which have substantial operations in the area. As Ng points out, compared to other financial services centres in North America, the talent costs less and is highly diverse, an added benefit for a company with a global reach. “We’re able to hire top-notch professionals from myriad cultures and backgrounds, which ensures that we look at things from all different angles, which is vital to the success of our business,” says Ng, himself a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s computer science program. Retention is high, partly because of the quality of the work Citi offers—“We’re building the future of global banking”—and because of the quality of life in the city. To attract top talent, you need to offer them a great place to live, and Mississauga has proved very appealing for ambitious young financial services professionals. Bordering Toronto, Mississauga is a warm and welcoming community with high-quality, affordable housing and schools, efficient transportation, access to good health care, miles of hiking and biking trails, theatre, shopping and excellent restaurants. “We don’t have trouble finding people with the right qualifications, and once they start working here, they tend to stay,” says Ng. Citi is committed to helping keep its employees happy, healthy and productive. Mississauga’s purpose-built, campus-style office houses a wide range of amenities, including a gym, a video gaming room and a cafeteria, with room for expansion. A prime location Then, there’s Mississauga’s location. The city of 700,000+ is part of the Greater Toronto Area, North America’s second-largest financial centre—and it’s the fastest-growing. It’s home to five of the world’s top 10 banks and the second-largest CFA society in the world. It’s also a one-hour flight to New York City, where you would find the company’s corporate head office. Home to 45+ financial services head offices, Mississauga is part of the fastest growing technology talent hub in North America. Mississauga’s new Internal Audit group, which started work in May 2021, has already nearly doubled in size—and growth shows no sign of slowing down. As for the Mississauga site overall, Ng is confident the best is yet to come. “We’re continuing to hire for all areas of our business,” he says. Find out why Ontario, Canada is a leader in financial services.