Winning in Canada’s Financial Centre
While the Toronto office of Canada ICI was only established in the summer of 2015, this branch is poised to climb the ladder in a hurry, thanks to Toronto’s thriving commercial real estate market. Now that the foundation is set, the next step for Canada ICI Toronto is to do what the other offices have done — become the industry leader in their market.
This isn’t the first time Canada ICI has had a presence in Toronto. Former entries into this market were in the form of commonly branded offices with a separate ownership model. This is the first time Canada ICI as a single entity has expanded into the nation’s largest city under one national strategy.
It certainly wasn’t all smooth sailing at the start. “The first few weeks here were absolute chaos,” says Managing Director Brent Magnan. “The Toronto branch was just a big empty office. I went out and bought a plastic folding table at Canadian Tire, and I was piggy-backing an internet connection off our neighbour.” Despite those humble beginnings, Brent says the Toronto office could soon become the largest in the entire company, due to how wide-ranging the market is.
“I would love to see the Toronto office become the highest volume office in the company,” Brent says. That’s not hyperbole, and it’s aligned with everyone’s expectation.”
Because Toronto is truly a global centre, there are some crucial differences in the way the office must operate, compared to Canada ICI’s other locations. In Toronto, you can’t rest on your laurels. You can easily lose market share to your competitors when you’re not on your “A” game. “In Edmonton, Calgary, or Winnipeg, there might not be as many transactions happening,” Brent says. “But when you get your hands on one, your odds of getting it done are a little higher. Here, it’s a volume game but also extremely competitive.”
One major advantage of this branch is the camaraderie among colleagues — a key attribute of Canada ICI culture, which has been maintained despite growing so quickly. The Toronto staff hangs out together both in and out of the office, perhaps even more so than the other branches. Brent thinks this attribute plays a big part in his team’s mutual trust and faith in each other.
As for long-term goals, he’s not shy about expressing his intentions. “Toronto will be the driver of this company,” Brent says. “That’s not a pie in the sky thing, that’s probably everyone’s expectation.”
The pressure is on, Toronto. You got this.