By Jean-Paul Robicheau
From the March/April 2019 Issue
TD Bank Group, one of Canada’s largest international banks, announced in April 2018 the creation of a nearshore finance operations centre that will employ over 1,000 people in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. The world’s most successful companies are taking advantage of the nearshore value proposition offered by New Brunswick. In fact, most of Canada’s major banks now have strategic nearshore shared services centers in New Brunswick, servicing their national and international footprints.
Advantageously located on Canada’s beautiful East Coast, the province easily enables international companies to support their global footprint and service clients across North America and Eurasia in the same business day. Combine that advantage with low costs of doing business and everything is in place to be successful operating from New Brunswick.
KPMG has consistently recognized New Brunswick cities among the lowest cost jurisdictions overall in North America. When total operating costs such as lease, labor, utilities, and taxes are considered, New Brunswick is the lowest cost option on either side of the border.
Across sectors, international businesses are taking note of New Brunswick. From IT and Cybersecurity to Financial Services and Fintech to Advanced Manufacturing and Digital Health, the province’s location, infrastructure, research capacity, and wealth of skilled talent are attracting a critical mass of world-class companies.
The province’s strategic nearshore value proposition has attracted many top American and international companies including Salesforce, IBM, HCL Technologies, Xerox, Hinduja Global Solutions, ExxonMobil, FedEx, and UPS.
July 2018 saw Tech Mahindra, one of India’s largest IT companies, select New Brunswick as the location for its strategic nearshore operation. “The inauguration of our centre in New Brunswick marks a new milestone for Tech Mahindra’s international footprint and underlines the strong spirit of co-operation with the local authorities,” said company president Ritesh Idnani. “This is an exciting growth hub globally and offers enormous opportunity for not just Tech Mahindra, as one of the leading companies in business process services, but also the community at large.”
HOMEGROWN COMPANIES ATTRACT INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS
Both IBM and Salesforce have acquired New Brunswick-based technology companies in recent years. Salesforce purchased leading social media monitoring company Radian6; only a few months later IBM announced its acquisition of cybersecurity company Q1 Labs, helping set the stage for the province becoming Canada’s leader in cybersecurity.
More recently, Tech Mahindra’s parent company, Mahindra & Mahindra, became a strategic partner of New Brunswick-based Resson, a predictive analytics company using drone imagery, machine learning, and big data to help crop growers make better agricultural decisions and increase productivity.
We Know Cybersecurity is Top-of-Mind for Every Business. New Brunswick was quick to recognize the value presented by the cybersecurity sector and Opportunities NB (ONB), the province’s lead economic development group, has focused its efforts—via its CyberNB division—on attracting leading cybersecurity companies, supporting local cybersecurity startups, and creating a robust talent pipeline.
ONB has assembled a talented team of investment attraction professionals—most of whom came from the private sector. When companies work with ONB, they’re working with business people. They understand what keeps decision-makers up at night. And top-of-mind for every company in the world now is cybersecurity.
With CyberNB, New Brunswick became the first Canadian province to launch a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. It is designed to strengthen and expand upon a world-class industry cluster led by IBM—whose global cybersecurity practice reports to its New Brunswick office—and leverage the incredible work being done at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton, the province’s capital city.
The past twelve months alone have seen more tremendous growth in the sector with both Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and Siemens announcing new national cybersecurity operations in Fredericton. To keep up with growth, ground has broken on the latest addition to the city’s Knowledge Park—Cyber Park, a $37 million facility specially designed to meet the needs of the province’s still growing cybersecurity cluster. Cyber Park will be constructed with a high level of security and resilience, to support cybersecurity operations for critical infrastructure protection.
Additionally, UNB is home to the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC) whose mandate is to build industry-leading cybersecurity technology, train highly skilled professionals, and provide leading-edge research. The CIC counts Siemens, TD Bank, and Canadian telecom giant Bell Canada among its notable partner firms.
Finally, the recently created $4 million Critical Infrastructure—Security Operations Centre (CI-SOC) collaboration project is unique in establishing a high level of cooperation between ecosystem partners from New Brunswick and beyond. It enables interconnected participating SOCs of top global players to collaborate in gathering, coordinating, and consuming cybersecurity intelligence, and producing high quality-threat intelligence for coordinating responses.
New Brunswick Understands the Importance of Immigration. New Brunswick recognizes the critical importance of companies accessing great local and international talent. To tackle that challenge, ONB created a Workforce Strategy Team to support clients’ workforce development and talent recruitment efforts. ONB is one of the only economic development groups in North America to offer this unique value-added service.
New immigration rules in the United States have created challenges for many U.S.-based businesses, as well as international companies operating within the country. New Brunswick’s immigration strategy is specifically designed to address these challenges and help companies looking to locate in the province not only access the local talent they need but relocate existing employees to New Brunswick quickly and efficiently.
New Brunswick’s immigration approach is employer-driven, attracting and retaining top international talent from around the globe. The ONB team has led several global firms through this process, ensuring they are able to hit the ground running in Canada. International players like IBM, Tech Mahindra, and HCL, as well as smaller firms like Toronto-based Dream Payments, Silicon Valley’s RevJet and more, have relocated several employees and their families to New Brunswick over the past few years.
Companies of any size can turn to ONB Workforce Strategists for support on several immigration-related needs, including:
- Specific immigration solutions for current staff looking to make the move to New Brunswick.
- Finding the best international talent to further expand their team.
- Retaining international students on a permanent basis.
- Helping newcomers connect with multicultural associations and find housing.
With an average job tenure that’s double the U.S. average, you’ll benefit from a stable and committed workforce in New Brunswick. The province’s workforce enjoys an affordable quality of life; they aren’t constantly on the lookout for the next higher paying job due to their sky-high monthly expenses.
Enjoying a desirable work-life balance is easy on Canada’s East Coast. Multiple New Brunswick communities have been ranked among the best places in the world to live. Your employees can be 10 minutes from work and 10 minutes from hiking, biking, the Atlantic Ocean, and some of Canada’s mightiest rivers. The province has three gorgeous coastlines: The Bay of Fundy (featuring the world’s highest tides), the Bay of Chaleur, and the Northumberland Straight. The beautiful seaside community of St. Andrews, was recently named the top Canadian destination by USA Today.
Jean-Paul Robicheau is Vice-President–Investment Attraction, Opportunities New Brunswick.