Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers
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 (2018) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018) :
- 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 1 to 2 days annually -- and matches volunteer hours with company donations of $150 for every 10 hours volunteered
- Fidelity Canada offers exceptional maternity and parental leave top-up payments for new mothers and fathers (including adoptive parents), to 100% of salary for up to 25 weeks
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."
Mentors and mentees Match up at Fidelity Canada
Fidelity Canada has been on a hiring boom. In the first nine months of 2017, the company filled 464 positions, of which 278 were external hires. The company now employs about 1,000 people in Canada, approximately 900 of them in Toronto.
Part of the global Fidelity organization, the Canadian organization is one of the country's leading investment management firms.
"Sometimes it is difficult for a business to maintain employee commitment when it is growing and changing, but Fidelity is able to do that," says Diana Godfrey, Vice President, Human Resources. "Our culture of continuous learning and continuous improvement makes that possible."
Employees can benefit from a variety of learning opportunities and can move into new roles within the organization. Alison Betts is an example: she joined Fidelity in 2013 as a sales coordinator and, while taking the three-year sales development program, was promoted to business development manager and then senior business development manager. She transitioned to a Content Marketing Manager role in mid-2017.
"Concurrently, while I was doing the internal training, I took external courses to earn my Canadian Securities Course and Chartered Investment Manager designations," says Betts. Fidelity fully reimburses tuition fees for relevant courses taken at outside institutions.
Fidelity also offers an innovative mentorship program. In addition to traditional mentoring -- where a senior manager advises a more junior employee -- Mentor Match includes reverse mentoring -- where executives are mentored by younger employees -- and peer-to-peer mentoring. There have been 154 mentorship pairs since the program began in October 2014.
Betts took part in peer-to-peer mentoring last year, and says the learning went both ways. "I strengthened communications skills, and learned the value of sharing my experiences as well as the importance of actively listening," she recalls.
The company runs a popular secondment program. Employees can apply to fill other roles that are temporarily open due to leaves of absence. It allows the employee to try a different role for a meaningful period of time. He or she then returns to their existing role, having acquired a new skill set.
Since mid-2014, Fidelity has conducted a company-wide listening campaign, "I'm All Ears," which encourages employees to "Empathize, Ask, Recognize, Spotlight." The campaign is about ensuring that all employees are listened to, whether it is managers listening to their reports or peer to peer.
"Listening is not about waiting for your chance to speak," says Godfrey. "It is about listening to someone, hearing what they have to say and digesting it. When you take the time to do that, you actually learn more. That has been a very successful campaign."
Fidelity's employee resource groups exemplify its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. They include Pride (for LGBTQ), Aspire (for Blacks and Latinos), an Asian group, a women's leadership group, and, most recently, Enable (for employees with disabilities). Collectively, the groups have 511 members.
Fidelity encourages its employees to support worthy causes by giving them one paid day a year to volunteer (becoming two paid days in 2018). Betts devoted her day to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, taking part in playground activities with elementary school children. For 2017, she and her team planned to volunteer at the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Fidelity employees fielded a team of over 30 participants in the 2017 OneWalk to Conquer Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; the company supported the cause with a $30,000 donation. "When the employees feel strongly about a cause, Fidelity is ready to match with a donation," says Godfrey.
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 Fidelity Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):
- Fidelity Canada manages a dedicated 4-month student program to help students develop a wide range of professional skills -- the program includes skills development workshops, information sessions, Q&A with the President, opportunities to volunteer with charitable organizations Fidelity supports, opportunities to job shadow up to 3 different departments, and participation in sporting and social events
- Additionally, Fidelity Canada offers a generous Work Relocation Program to help students cover moving costs if relocating for a co-op placement to the organization's Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary or Montréal offices
Fidelity Canada is expanding jobs for youth
Fidelity Canada is investing in youth. One third of the company's 1,000+ employees are age 30 and under -- and that number is climbing. "The company is in the midst of a hiring wave and many of the positions are junior ones that are filled by younger people," says Diana Godfrey, Senior Vice President, Human Resources.
Fidelity Canada is part of the global Fidelity Investments organization. The Canadian organization is one of the leading investment management firms in the country. It is headquartered in Toronto, with regional offices in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.
In the last decade, Fidelity Canada has shifted its hiring approach. "Instead of recruiting experienced employees from competing firms," says Godfrey, "we now hire young, entry-level staff, developing them in-house for more senior roles."
Especially sought are business development associates, processing roles, and customer service representatives. For its sales development program alone, Fidelity Canada aims to hire 40 or more recent graduates annually.
An example is Alison Betts, 29, who joined Fidelity Canada in 2013 as a sales coordinator. She soon entered the sales development program, which enabled her to rise to business development manager and then senior business development manager. She is now a Content Marketing Manager.
Fidelity's recruitment of young talent often begins with four-month co-op placements for students. The program includes skills development workshops, information sessions (including a Q&A with the president), opportunities to volunteer with charities that
Fidelity supports, and the chance to job-sha-dow up to three different departments. The firm also helps students cover moving costs if they are relocating for a co-op placement at a Fidelity office location that is beyond commuting distance from their home address.
Paul Aulicino, 21, a Wilfrid Laurier University business student, is doing his second four-month co-op term at Fidelity. Early in 2017, he interned with the Finance team as an analyst, and has since worked with Product Research. Beginning with the week-long onboarding program, "Fidelity puts a lot of care into the co-op program to make sure the students have a great experience," says Aulicino. "You feel a sense of importance being here."
Derek Deonarain, 26, was a co-op student at Fidelity five years ago, then joined the firm full-time as an Investment Compliance Analyst. Under a new tuition assistance program, university grads such as Deonarain who stay with the company will receive a bonus of $500 upon completion of their first year, $1,000 for their second year and $1,500 for their third year.
In keeping with its culture of continuous learning, the firm reimburses tuition fees for relevant courses taken at outside institutions. Betts earned the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) and Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designations, while Deonarain is pursuing the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designations. Internally, he has benefited, too, taking financial market courses to learn about complex financial instruments.
"As important as the formal courses have been the mentoring I receive," says Deonarain. Fidelity provides an innovative MentorMatch program. In addition to traditional mentoring -- where a senior manager advises a more junior employee -- Fidelity's program includes reverse mentoring, where younger employees mentor executives, and peer-to-peer mentoring. "It has helped me decide in which direction my career path should go," says Deonarain.
Fidelity also runs a secondment program which is popular with all employees, in particular young employees seeking to broaden their experiences. Staff can apply to fill other roles that are temporarily open due to various reasons, including leaves of absence. It allows the employee to try a different role for a meaningful length of time. He or she then resumes their existing role with a new set of skills -- or moves on to a new role, more prepared and experienced.