Investment Banking in Canada
Investment banking in Canada revolves almost entirely around Toronto, with significantly smaller centers in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.
With the recent decline in the Canadian energy industry on the back of falling oil prices, Toronto’s relative status has only grown (at the expense of Calgary).
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Investment Banking in Canada vs United States
By contrast to the United States, Canadian Investment Banking is a smaller and more insulated market,
Client company coverage in the United States is based on size and investment banking potential. The Bulge Bracket banks and Elite Boutiques will cover the mega-caps and the large caps, middle market banks will cover mid-caps and small-caps, and regional boutiques or industry boutiques will cover micro-caps.
Canadian capital markets are generally much less deep compared to the US (the Canadian investment banking market is much smaller with a smaller pool of investors).
For example, when a Canadian corporate issues debt in public markets, it needs to be a relatively small size (C$150-500 million) as there is not enough market demand (buyers of Canadian bonds) and the limited number of Canadian dollar bond investors such as Canadian insurance companies or asset managers do not have enough cash. Large Canadian borrowers often will issue in the US instead.
Although a declining trend, Canada’s equity markets have historically been dominated by financials, energy and minerals.
Top Investment Banks in Canada
Investment Banks in Canada
Below are the most prominent investment banks operating in Canada, organized by type:
|The Big 5 Canadian Investment Banks||In Canada, the investment banking industry is dominated by the domestic incumbents or the Big Five Banks – all are universal banks where the major business is retail and commercial banking, but who also possess capital markets arms. These banks are:|
|Bulge Brackets in Canada||
|Elite Boutiques in Canada||
|Canadian Investment Banking Boutiques||This list has thinned down substantially from a few years ago as the Canadian investment industry has matured and consolidated.
Canada League Tables
Mergers & Acquisitions – As one might expect, Bulge Bracket banks loom large in Canada and will generally be in the top 10 for M&A as most cross border deals will be done using their global networks. Whether this is a Canadian pension fund looking to expand outwards or a global firm purchasing Canadian assets, usually a Bulge Bracket bank will be involved. RBC and BMO have expanded their US presence greatly and compete with the Bulge Brackets. Meanwhile, for domestic M&A, the Big 5 have a stranglehold on the business:
Debt Capital Markets – Bulge Bracket banks will be a staple in US dollar debt issuances for larger Canadian corporates, as well as junk bond and leveraged loan issuance via their leveraged finance teams.
Meanwhile, the Big 5 serve as relationship lenders through their corporate banking arms, and thus will usually be involved on a pro-rata basis for any debt capital markets (or equity capital markets business).
Equity capital markets – Equity raises in the US by large Canadian corporates (i.e. IPOs and secondary issuances) will often involve Bulge Bracket banks as they have the rolodex with the large buy-side institutional investors.
Investment Banking Groups in Canada
As discussed earlier, almost all coverage will be done out of Toronto, while all francophone coverage will be out of Montreal and corporate banking will be in all markets aligned with investment banking coverage.