Toronto financial services can play major global role

Study says city can help with public-private partnerships

Toronto financial services can play major global role
Steve Randall

The financial sector in Toronto is uniquely positioned to be a key player in infrastructure projects worldwide according to a new report.

The Toronto Financial Services Alliance says that the city’s financial institutions are only behind New York and London in terms of the strength and ability to deliver public-private partnerships (P3) for government infrastructure projects worldwide.

“What separates Toronto from its international peers in P3 transactions is the broad-based participation of so many players in one place,” said Steve Beatty, Chairman, Cities Center of Excellence, KPMG LLP. “This clustering of investors, investees, developers, advisors and service providers located in and around Toronto makes it a truly unique P3 marketplace.”

Effective asset management
The report, in association with KPMG, highlights the strength of Toronto’s banks, insurers and infrastructure funds; together with strong oversight, and effective asset management.

“Without question, Toronto is a leading global financial centre for public-private partnerships,” said Jennifer Reynolds, President and CEO, Toronto Financial Services Alliance. “When governments require new or renewed infrastructure assets, they turn to the expertise, capital and leadership present in Toronto’s financial services sector.”

Contributing to Toronto’s potential in P3 transactions is a deep pool of resident capital and significant ongoing Canadian activity in the P3 space, plus financial institutions with international reputation for delivering on these projects.

“Toronto’s financial services (FS) sector is mature, stable and vigorously competitive,” adds Mr. Beatty. “As governments around the world look to the P3 model as a way of meeting rapidly growing global infrastructure needs, Toronto’s FS sector can play a leading role.”

To remain competitive in P3, Beatty notes that the sector will have to be willing to innovate and try new things.

“The sector will continue to evolve and be subject to changing economic and geopolitical pressures that will not only define the success of individual P3 projects but of the Toronto sector’s ability to deliver,” he says.