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 State Street Canada was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- In addition to the company's regular health benefits plan, State Street Canada offers a generous health spending account of up to $2,400 per year, allowing employees to top up coverage to suit their personal needs
- State Street Canada provides generous tuition subsidies to encourage employees to continue their education (to $5,000 for courses at outside institutions) and offers a variety of in-house and online training options, including access to State Street University and State Street Live (internal and guest speaker sessions on relevant topics such as fintech and financial services)
- Along with helping employees save for the future, State Street Canada provides retirement planning assistance and phased-in work options to help retiring employees transition
State Street Canada offers global opportunities
In 2005, James Stewart, a political science graduate from Western University, walked into a Toronto job fair knowing virtually nothing about State Street Canada, which is part of one of the world's largest financial services firms.
After years of working nights in London, Ont. - and with a serious girlfriend in Toronto who would later become his wife - he knew he was looking for a job that could provide a promising future and the opportunity for advancement. Two weeks later, he was hired.
In 13 years, Stewart has moved ahead in his career and is now an assistant vice-president for the firm, which operates in more than 100 countries.
"It kind of checked all my boxes in terms of providing stability, some structure, and good benefits - so it was great that way," he recalls. "And I had the ability to rise quickly into more supervisory and, eventually, management roles. For me, it was catching up."
State Street offers all the advantages of a global company, says Stewart, and each local office has its own identity and sense of camaraderie. He got a first-hand taste of the global benefits in 2008, when State Street sent him to India for three months to train employees in an office there.
When he returned, the company asked him to take on a senior corporate training role. Today, he focuses on leadership development and technology integration. "Even at a more junior level," he says, "they were supportive of opportunities that shaped my career early on."
Rob Baillie, the Head of State Street Canada, says the company largely recruits candidates with university and college degrees in business administration, accounting, finance and economics. But it also hires people who are new to the industry. And for many years now, State Street has actively worked to attract and promote people of diverse backgrounds.
"We recognize that our people are our most valuable asset," adds Baillie. "Our employees and their focus on client service, building relationships and innovation are at the heart of our corporate culture."
Stewart also values State Street's deep sense of ethics and corporate social responsibility. Through active employee volunteerism and corporate donations, the firm is committed to making a meaningful impact in every community in which it operates.
In 2018, State Street recognized its Toronto and Montreal locations jointly as worldwide offices of the year for their philanthropic work. Stewart says the Toronto office has strong partnerships with organizations like the Fred Victor mission for the homeless and Second Harvest, a food rescue and redistribution charity. "That's one thing we really pride ourselves on," he says. "State Street aims to be a good corporate citizen."
State Street also supports its employees in a wide variety of ways. In addition to staff volunteer groups, it promotes numerous employee committees geared to personal development and career growth, including a professional women's network.
As a father of two young sons, Stewart appreciates the company's generous health benefits and significant, defined-contribution pension plan.
To support continuous learning, State Street's Educational Assistance Program provides up to $5,000 a year toward tuition for employees in Canada who enroll in academic programs, including courses, workshops, conferences or seminars. The company's new, industry-leading online learning system provides curated course content that can be customized to match employee preferences, settings and personal data. Other education initiatives include job shadowing, lunch and learns, and cross-training opportunities within business units.
"We see the development of our staff as an important investment," says Baillie. "We're committed to both their personal and professional development."