Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2022):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 10, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why Mackenzie Investments was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2022):
- Mackenzie Investments maintains an employee-led charitable foundation, which provides grants to grassroots charities that support underprivileged women, youth and children who have complex health issues, who are at-risk and who require social support -- the company also matches employee donations (to a maximum of $5,000 per year) and provides two paid days off to volunteer
- Mackenzie Investments helps employees balance work and personal commitments with a variety of flexible work arrangements and up to 10 paid personal days, which can be used when needed
- Mackenzie Investments offers development opportunities for individuals at various stages of their career, from subsidies for tuition and professional accreditation for those looking to upgrade their skills, to a new grad rotational program designed to give students comprehensive work experience
Staying connected is a key asset for Mackenzie
When Megan Cobb wanted to take her career to the next level, she set her sights on Mackenzie Investments. She’d become familiar with the Toronto-based global asset management company while working for a financial services research and consulting firm and Mackenzie’s track record, stability and scale made a strong impression.
“I really wanted to get an insider’s perspective and help drive Mackenzie’s strategy,” Cobb says.
Founded in 1967, Mackenzie offers retail and institutional investors a wide range of investment products and related services. It also partners with wholesalers and advisors throughout Canada to help their clients become more knowledgeable investors.
Cobb got her wish in January 2020, when she was hired as a manager, product strategy. She has since been promoted and is now a senior manager, product development. Her previous exposure to the organization contributed to a smooth onboarding experience, she says, adding that she also already knew some of her new teammates who helped her settle in.
Three months later, everything changed. “On a Friday, we were asked to take our laptops home for the weekend,” says Cobb. “At the time, nobody really knew much about COVID-19 and we all thought we’d be back in the office in two weeks.”
By the time the enormity of the pandemic was apparent, Mackenzie had mobilized to ensure its employees had the technology, connectivity and other resources they needed to work safely and productively from home.
In Cobb’s case that included sending her a new, more tech-laden laptop. Her responsibilities include analyzing enormous data sets for key industry trends and competitive insights, she explains, and the first machine simply didn’t have enough computing power.
Cobb and her team, in fact, delivered on a significant project that was underway even before the pandemic. The result: an automated data feed that delivers timely and targeted analysis to key stakeholders.
It’s just one example of how Mackenzie has sustained its core business throughout the pandemic. As someone with his pulse on the Canadian marketplace, president and CEO Barry McInerney knows not all industries have fared so well. “We have the luxury of being able to execute our strategy virtually,” he says.
That’s meant McInerney and the leadership team have been able to press ahead with key initiatives and to focus on maintaining Mackenzie’s supportive workplace culture in the online environment.
Advancing diversity, equity and inclusion is a strategic priority and to that end Mackenzie hired a new head of DE&I in April 2021 with a dotted-line reporting relationship straight to the top.
A key goal is advancing gender equality – and that’s not only because Mackenzie is a signatory to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles aiming to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions.
“Gender diversity has traditionally been a challenge within the asset management industry,” says McInerney. “Our vision is to be a leading contemporary organization that’s inclusive and engaging for everyone.”
Mackenzie has used technology to stay informed about employees’ wants and needs and to respond to them. In addition to frequent company-wide surveys, McInerney regularly addresses a variety of topics via virtual town halls and video updates. He’s let them know, for instance, that Mackenzie is in no rush to get people back to the office, a decision based in part on employee feedback.
“I believe it’s critical to stay connected and communicate often. Every employee needs to feel their job is important and contributes to our success.”