BMO Harris Private Banking

BMO Harris Private Banking

June 13, 2013 07:00 ET

BMO Harris Private Banking Changing Face of Wealth Study: Diversity Dominant Among Affluent in Ontario

- Almost half of high-net worth Ontarians were either born outside of Canada or are first generation Canadians

- More than one-third of Ontario's wealthy are women

- Sixty-four per cent are self-made millionaires

- Education is key: 77 per cent hold at least a university a degree; just 14 per cent have a high school diploma or less

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 13, 2013) - According to a study released today by BMO Harris Private Banking, the high-net worth segment in Ontario (defined as those with investible assets of $1 million or more) are diverse and well-educated. The study is the first in a series over the next year that will examine trends among the wealthy.

The inaugural study found that 45 per cent of high-net worth Ontarians were either born outside of Canada or are first generation Canadians (with at least one parent born outside the country).

"Ontario has the proud reputation of being a multicultural society and, according to our study, this extends to the province's affluent as well," said Ryan McNally, Regional Vice President and Managing Director, Greater Toronto Area, BMO Harris Private Banking. "It's clear that wealth can be acquired in various ways, regardless of gender or birthplace. Today's high-net worth Ontarians affirm that hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit can result in success."

The study also found that:

  • Seventy-seven per cent hold at least an undergraduate university degree. Only 14 per cent state that they have a high school diploma or less.
  • More than one-third (36 per cent) of the wealthy in Ontario are women.
  • Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of high-net worth Ontarians are self-made millionaires, earning their wealth on their own.

Mr. McNally noted the challenges that Ontario's private banking industry faces with having an increasingly diverse clientele. "We need to understand that today's high-net worth clients are a diverse group, whether determined by place of birth, gender, education level or age, so there's an opportunity for us to re-assess and anticipate the needs of the individuals and families with whom we work."

Key National Findings:

On a national level, the study found the following:

  • Two-thirds (67 per cent) of high-net worth Canadians are self-made millionaires, making their wealth on their own. Only one-in-five (20 per cent) attribute at least part of their wealth to an inheritance.
  • Women make up one-third of Canada's affluent, up from 21 per cent three years ago.
  • Almost half (48 per cent) are either immigrants to Canada (24 per cent), or describe themselves as first generation Canadians with at least one parent born outside of Canada (24 per cent).
  • Education is a big indicator of wealth with 80 per cent of high-net worth Canadians possessing at least a university degree and 46 per cent a graduate or professional degree; 10 per cent have a technical, trade or apprenticeship degree and just 9 per cent hold only a high school diploma or less.

Regional Breakdown:

Region Percentage
who are
who are new
who are women
National 67 48 32
Atlantic 83 46 37
Quebec 64 44 24
Ontario 64 45 36
Alberta 72 44 36
British Columbia 74 68 26

The online survey was conducted by Pollara between March 28th and April 11th, 2013 with a sample of 305 Canadian adults who have $1M+ in investable assets (including a sub-sample of 121 Ontarians). The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 5.6%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Harris Private Banking

Backed by the stability and resources of BMO Financial Group, professionals at BMO Harris Private Banking are responsible for the successful management of wealth by providing expert advice and highly personalized services in banking, investment management, estate, trust, succession planning and philanthropic services - all with a coordinated and confident approach. With 34 offices across Canada, including Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, BMO Harris Private Banking is able to service clients in a variety of languages.

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