A poll conducted by the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) reveals that more than two-thirds of CEOs expect their firms to be better off this year.
87% of those surveyed expect to see the same or improved conditions for global capital markets in the year ahead while 81% believe this will be the case in Canadian markets. The majority of CEOs also believe that their company will be more profitable in the coming year, with 68% expecting an increase in 2015 compared to just 48% last year. Moreover, 72% of CEOs expect their firms to hire more advisors this year; this is up from the 52% who said they planned to hire more people in 2014.
Asked to name the top three difficulties they will have to face in 2015, 84% of respondents expressed concern about regulatory pressures while 40% were worried about competitive pressures.
Discussing the survey findings in a speech to the Empire Club of Canada, IIAC President and CEO Ian Russell described the investment industry as "the canary in the coalmine" when assessing Canada's economic future.
“The industry depends on market activity – financing and trading. That is a distillation of people’s expectations of the economy, economic confidence and corporate earnings. In other words, the industry’s health is a short-handed way of interpreting how people are thinking,” he said. “It would appear our industry and Canadian investors have much to look forward to in 2015.”
Although the survey was conducted before the collapse in oil prices and the related stock market decline, the IIAC suggests that “the bad news of the past three months stands a good chance of being reversed”.