Canadian CFAs are well paid

By Staff | July 14, 2012 | Last updated on July 14, 2012
2 min read

Have you earned your CFA designation?

If not, it may be worth looking into; most certified planners and analysts in Canada are enjoying raises and high paycheques, says a recent study.

It also finds Canadian professionals holding the Chartered Financial Analyst designation earn an average of $239,215 per year, and saw their total compensation rise 11% in 2011.

The median salary level, however, stands at $157,500, with the level of pay varying across the country and depending on your region, sector and position.

“The CFA designation is respected by employers and is valuable in terms of pay level and career advancement opportunities,” says Janine Guenther, vice-president & managing director for BMO Harris Private Banking in B.C.

She adds, “Canadian CFA members are well paid and can earn very high incomes as they advance to senior positions.”

Read: Do you work for love or money?

Those with CFA designations can often boast high levels of experience, education and responsibility, says the survey. Many have more than 15 years of experience, with almost 40% holding senior positions.

Two-thirds have additional degrees and designations, such as an MBA (26%), and more than half (53%) manage assets averaging $3.5 billion.

Read: Advisors need flexible payment options

Other key findings:

  • Those with longer tenure and more senior positions receive a larger proportion of their compensation from profit sharing and performance bonuses, as well as stock options and awards. Those in roles of financial advisors/brokers or private banker/client advisor receive larger shares from commissions/sales bonuses.
  • Base salaries increased an average of 9.1%.
  • The top quarter of income earners start with incomes of $260,000, rising to over $3.5 million. The bottom quarter reported average incomes of $105,000, in line with reported compensation for those with less than five years of experience.
  • Those in Calgary ($269,684), Toronto ($250,138) and Vancouver ($230,910) reported higher total compensation than those in Montreal ($210,750), Atlantic Canada ($163,699), Winnipeg ($164,390) and Ottawa ($170,750).
  • Top forms of pay include base salaries (95%) and performance bonuses (77%), with a few receiving stock awards/phantom shares (16%, profit sharing 15%), commissions/sales bonuses (14%), and stock options (8%).
  • More than one-third (36%) work for banks, insurance firms, and large pension plans.
  • Top roles performed include financial analysis (65%), client relationship management (53%), portfolio management/stock selection (49%), general management (44%), strategy development and planning (41%), performance management (36%) and internal control and risk management (36%). A combined 8% fall into the roles of CEO/CAO/COO (3%), CFO (2%), or chief investment officers (3%). staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.