Investment industry CEOs optimistic

Canada’s investment industry CEOs are optimistic about the outlook for capital markets and their individual firms in the coming year, according to an Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) survey.

Eighty-seven percent of CEO respondents are forecasting status quo or improved conditions for global capital markets in the year ahead, while 81% share this outlook for Canada’s markets.

Read: 7 forecasts for 2015

Ian Russell, IIAC’s president and CEO, points out that the survey was undertaken before the collapse in oil prices and the related market decline, but as the latest market ups and downs remind us, the bad news of the past three months stands a good chance of being reversed.

Additional grounds for optimism stems from the fact that 69% of investment dealer CEOs are predicting their firm’s profitability will be up in 2015—a substantial increase from the 48% who forecasted this last year. This means, for the third year in a row, industry operating profits will increase for small, medium and large firms, respectively.

Read: Investment professionals predict meagre growth in 2015

When asked whether they anticipate any changes in their firms’ investment advisor head count, 72% of CEOs say they plan to bring more on board in 2015. This is up significantly from last year’s finding of 52%.

The pre-eminent roadblock to growth continues to be the ongoing regulatory burden. When asked to list the top three barriers facing their firms in 2015, 84% cite regulatory pressures, a similar finding from the previous surveys. Underscoring the significance of this roadblock is the fact that the second most cited barrier—competitive pressures—was cited by only 40% of respondents.

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