Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2019) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Fidelity Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2019) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- Fidelity Canada offers exceptional maternity and parental leave top-up payments for new mothers and fathers (including adoptive parents), to 100 per cent of salary for up to 25 weeks
- Fidelity Canada manages a unique "Voice of the Employee" innovation program to encourage employee feedback and awards up to $2,000 for suggestions that are implemented by the company
- Fidelity Canada supports employee efforts to give back to their communities, recently increasing the number of paid days off to volunteer from one to two days annually -- and matches volunteer hours with company donations of $150 for every 10 hours volunteered
Growing your career at Fidelity Canada
Keeping up with new developments in the investment industry is the biggest challenge in Madeline McGown's job. As a Business Development Manager with Fidelity Investments Canada, she serves a client base of some 600 financial planners and advisors in the Ottawa region.
"The industry is always changing; and so the company is always evolving," she says. "There is always something new to know. Fortunately, our sales team is supported really well by all Fidelity departments."
McGown takes clients' calls and answers their questions with up-to date product information. She also prospects for new clients. "I do most of my work from inside the Toronto office," she says, "but part of our training is to go on the road with our district vice-president - the main point of contact between Fidelity and the financial advisors - and do face-to-face presentations. That has been amazing."
Fidelity Canada, which opened in 1987, is one of the country's leading investment management firms, managing $136 billion in mutual fund and institutional assets. Part of the global Fidelity organization, the Canadian operation is headquartered in Toronto, with regional offices in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.
Fidelity employs about 1,100 people in Canada. One of its main areas of hiring has been new graduates for its SalesPath program, says Diana Godfrey, Senior Vice President, Human Resources. "In a distribution business, sales is key. To sell investment products and solutions, you need financial knowledge. You have to know the product and be able to impart that knowledge to the advisors."
McGown started with the firm three years ago, having just graduated from the University of Ottawa with a commerce degree. As a Business Development Associate, she supported the downtown Toronto sales team. "I had four weeks of training to be eligible for promotion into my current position. Now, I'm in training to become a district vice-president."
Fidelity emphasizes professional and personal development. "In addition to compulsory learning that all employees do, almost two-thirds of our employees attended our internal classes last year," says Godfrey. "That speaks to the interest here in continuous learning."
In addition to the training it provides internally, the firm encourages ongoing education externally. It made 97 tuition reimbursements in the past eight months. McGown earned her Canadian Securities Course designation while working as a Business Development Associate, and is now pursuing her Chartered Investment Manager designation.
Fidelity also is proud of its Mentor Match program. Along with traditional mentoring - where a senior manager advises a more junior employee - the firm's program offers reverse mentoring, where executives are mentored by younger employees, and peer-to-peer mentoring.
McGown, in the role of mentor, was paired with a colleague from the back-office educational program. "He got to learn more about how the sales teams work," she says, "and soon after was promoted to a business development role. It was a good learning experience on both ends. I plan to sign up next to be a mentee."
Fidelity offers another passport to professional growth through its five employee resource groups. These include Pride (for LGBTQ staff), Aspire (for Black and Latino), an Asian group, a women's leadership group, and, most recently, Enable (recognition of varying abilities).
Each group has between 60 and 100 members, comprising not only self-identified minorities but also allies. "It not only helps us promote diversity but by having allies inside the groups, it advances inclusion," says Godfrey. The women's group is the largest. "Learning about other professional women's experiences in the company has been valuable," says McGown, "and attending its events is a great opportunity to network."
Employees have their own voice at Fidelity Canada
Cameron Chamberlain is a "go-to guy" at Fidelity Canada. An Investment Analyst in the company's product research group, he specializes in Canadian equities, staying current on the stocks that are held by 10 Fidelity mutual funds.
"I work closely with our Canadian equity portfolio managers and research analysts to communicate their ideas to the broader Fidelity organization," he says. "When our employees have questions about the Canadian equity market or what the portfolio managers are thinking or doing, they come to me."
Fidelity Canada is one of the country's leading investment management firms, managing $136 billion in mutual fund and institutional assets. Part of the global Fidelity organization, the Canadian operation is headquartered in Toronto, where 972 of its 1,074 employees are located.
Fidelity's workplace culture emphasizes continuous learning and continuous
improvement. "An employee needs more than merely a job to be engaged," says Diana Godfrey, Senior Vice President, Human Resources. "We like to hire people who want to grow their careers with us."
Chamberlain first worked for Fidelity as a co-op student, doing three terms while earning his commerce degree at the University of Guelph. He joined the company full-time as an Investment Associate in 2017, and was promoted in June 2018 to Investment Analyst.
He appreciates the resources and training that Fidelity devotes to its staff. "I saw that as a student and since I've been here full-time," he says. "Fidelity's commitment to the professional and personal growth of employees at all levels of the organization really stands out to me."
In addition to the extensive training it makes available internally, the firm encourages ongoing education externally. It made 97 tuition reimbursements in the past eight months. Chamberlain, having passed the first two levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation exams, is among those who have benefited. (He aims to pass the final exam next June, at which time he'll also receive an accreditation bonus.)
Along with traditional mentoring - where a senior manager advises a more junior employee - Fidelity's Mentor Match program includes reverse mentoring, where executives are mentored by younger employees, and peer-to-peer mentoring. Chamberlain, who was paired with a member of the legal department, valued the chance to learn about the company from a different perspective.
Fidelity's Voice of the Employee innovation program enlists employee feedback and recommendations for improved processes. "We evaluate each recommendation," says Godfrey, "and if we don't implement it, we go back to the employee and explain why not."
In 2017, the Canadian organization received 132 ideas and handed out 17 prizes of $300. The originators of the top four ideas were awarded an additional $2,000 each. One of the ideas recognized was a web-based transcription service that allows Fidelity to do reporting off what would otherwise just be audio files.
Fidelity backs employees who give to their communities. Chamberlain, for example, sits on a young leaders committee at the George Hull Centre for Children and Families, which offers mental health services for children from birth through age 18 and their families.
The committee organized a "country fair" event to raise both money and awareness for the centre. "When we were seeking support, Fidelity, knowing I was passionate about this charity, assisted," says Chamberlain.
Through time or money, Fidelity Canada contributed to 890 charities last year. The organization increased the paid time off for staff to volunteer, from one day to two days annually. This enables an employee to volunteer on a Fidelity team project and also devote time to his or her personal cause.
Fidelity also provides a $100 donation for employees who have volunteered for at least 10 hours. Says Godfrey: "There are many different ways in which employees can influence how the company spends money on charitable endeavours."