Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 6, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Citi Canada was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- Citi Canada recognizes exceptional performance and achievement through a variety of initiatives, including the online Citi Gratitude platform (with redeemable points), the enterprise-wide Progress Awards, the Canada Wave program for members of the cards collection teams, and Leaders in Excellence
- Citi Canada supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments to 75% of salary for up to 17 weeks -- additionally, the company provides parental top-up for adoptive parents, to 75% of salary for up to 8 weeks
- Citi Canada offers generous referral bonuses as an incentive for employees to recruit candidates from their personal networks, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 for successful hires
Self-learning is key to career growth at Citi Canada
At Citi Canada, Ian Ng thrives on the challenge - the challenge of delivering cutting-edge financial technology in a stable and functional system. "These are systems that move money, so they are quite complex," he says. "There is risk in operating these systems. This is both satisfying to me as well as something that might keep me up at night."
Citi Canada is part of Citigroup, the global financial services organization that operates in 160 countries and jurisdictions. The firm employs about 1,400 people across Canada, including 1,200 in Toronto and Mississauga.
"The majority of our professional-level hiring is for technology roles," says Christine Discola, Country Human Resources Officer. "That is where we are experiencing the growth in our franchise. However, we also have a strong focus on our finance undergaduate program."
Citi Canada seeks developers who can create applications that excel in the global market - from integrated platforms that leverage big data in order to identify market opportunities, to innovative products that disrupt the traditional banking model.
"We have a dynamic, innovative environment that is focused on enabling progress for our clients and the communities we serve," says Discola. "Innovation is at the core of what we do. There is a strong focus on ethics and responsible finance in everything we do."
Positions for which the Greater Toronto operation has recently hired include Java Development Team Lead, Big Data Technical Specialist, Senior QA Analyst, Business Unit Analyst, and Senior Business System Analyst.
Ng has been with Citi Canada since 2012, including the past three years as Senior Vice President, Capital Markets, Rates Technology. He manages a team of 70 developers who deliver systems and projects that support Citi's sales and trading teams globally.
"I've seen transformational change every year that I've been here," says Ng. "We have a very can-do attitude. With a bank this size, you might expect things would be more slow-moving. Instead, it's quite fast-paced. Because Citi is so global, we have a mix of people from different cultures. Such a diverse workforce contributes to our success."
So, too, does Citi's emphasis on professional development. "Recently, we rolled out a new digital platform for self-learning," says Discola. "Early adoption rates are encouraging, and we are working to increase adoption to 100 per cent over time."
Ng benefitted from Leading at Citi, a program which helped him transition from being an individual contributor to becoming a manager, then a team manager and then a business group leader. For technologists, a parallel program called Engineering Excellence helps them not only become better developers but also be able to influence and lead across the firm.
Citi Canada has a formal mentorship program, called CANNECTIONS, to which prospective mentors and mentees must apply to participate. The mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet monthly for one year.
Ng arranged an informal mentorship last year in which a director helped him identify skills he would need to assume a larger role in the organization. "Having someone outside your immediate management team advise on ways you can be more effective in the organization is valuable," says Ng.
He is now acting as a mentor, participating in a program called Prometheus to develop female technology employees who are at the assistant vice-president level or below. "I meet with the individual bi-weekly and it's up to her to set the agenda for each meeting," he says.
"We have other developmental programs for high-potential senior women," says Discola. "We also have a women's network at our Toronto and Mississauga offices." With over half of Citi Canada employees being women, there is no lack of participants.
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Citi Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):
- Citi Canada manages a number of Campus Analyst programs to provide recent graduates with opportunities to gain career-level experience -- each program includes mid- and year-end performance reviews, regular check-ins with HR, and networking events that bring participants of each Campus Analyst stream together
- Citi Canada offers a number of unique philanthropic opportunities for participants of its Analyst programs, including ServiceCorps for incoming technology analysts (a 1-year fellowship at a non-profit or public organization) and Citi Volunteer Africa for participants of the Corporate and Investment Banking Analyst streams (junior bankers help low-income entrepreneurs in Uganda for a 5-week period)
- Citi Canada offers a Global Experience Program, allowing employees to live and work in one of the company's global locations for 8 weeks -- Citi Canada absorbs all housing and travel costs and provides a daily stipend for meals and other needs
A world of possibilities awaits at Citi Canada
As part of a global financial-services organization with a presence in more than 100 countries, Citi Canada uses its global reach to provide exceptional experiences for its employees, through exposure to colleagues, clients and markets around the world as well as with a variety of exchange programs.
Some of these programs are designed specifically for younger employees who are just starting their careers.
"We recognize how incredibly competitive the market is for campus graduates, so a couple of years ago we embarked on a major global initiative to become the employer of choice for young professionals," says Christine Discola, Country Human Resources Officer for Citi Canada, which is based in Toronto. "From the moment they come in the door, we give people close support in training and career development, and we offer unique programs for those who are globally minded."
For instance, newly hired employees may opt to defer their start dates for a year to allow them to work in volunteer service on something they're passionate about, and get paid while they do it. One such program for select analysts, called Volunteer Africa, enables new employees to travel to Uganda and Kenya to help low-income entrepreneurs get their businesses up and running.
Citi also offers numerous opportunities for employees who choose to stay in Canada. Recent graduates gain experience through the bank's analyst programs, which include mid- and end-of-year performance reviews, regular check-ins with HR, and networking events. As of 2018, there are expected to be about 75 analysts in these programs.
"Each analyst program lasts two and a half years. There's a general introduction for six months, followed by two full-year rotations in different areas of the business," explains Gursahiba Chandhoke, who started with Citi Canada in June 2016 after graduating from Queen's University with a commerce degree.
"I'm just completing my first full-year rotation as an analyst in the Treasury and Trade Solutions group," Chandhoke says. "You decide with managers as you go along which areas to focus on, based on business needs and your own interests. I've found it to be a very well-rounded experience. The ownership and responsibility you're given are tremendous, and there's a network of global expertise to draw on -- you don't realize the power of this until you see it.
"When you've completed the analyst program, you have the opportunity to stay in Toronto or go anywhere else if you wish."
With Citi Canada's 100th anniversary on the horizon (its parent company, Citi, is over 200 years old), the bank is ramping up its internal programs in a number of areas. One example, soon to be launched, is an early career mobility website to demystify the career planning process for employees and help the bank develop talent for the long term.
It was Citi's global footprint that first attracted Chandhoke to the bank, and since she has been working there she has also come to appreciate its diversity and focus on community involvement.
"This makes Citi seem very special," she says. "The company is great at supporting causes you're passionate about. I love the opportunity to work with other teams on extra-curricular and volunteer activities."
"Volunteerism is very strong at Citi, both globally and in Canada," agrees Discola. "We see strong participation by everyone but especially younger analysts. Diversity and inclusion are also very important and we have an extremely competitive total rewards program.
"One of the best things about Citi Canada," Discola adds, "is that while we're part of a large global organization with all the advantages that offers, we're not very large in Canada so it feels like a small company in some ways. There are many opportunities for broad roles and interaction with all levels. It's the best of both worlds."