Calgary head offices
Head offices are highly desirable for any city as they provide the base of corporate decision making, add relatively high paying jobs that can increase a city’s economic base, and are thought to bring with them prestige that adds to a city’s image. The importance of corporate head office activity can be observed in the economic impact generated beyond that directly associated with the head offices themselves. They attract more professional business and financial services companies, creating a larger and more knowledgeable professional community – one that can offer greater access to high-quality services for surrounding companies.
Among Canada’s six most populated Census Metropolitan Areas, Calgary ranks first in head office concentration. Calgary is home to approximately one in seven of Canada’s major corporate headquarters and is now Western Canada’s head office capital. It's not surprising that the majority (approximately 74 per cent) of these head office are focused in the energy sector. In addition, there are headquarters that service the financial services, manufacturing, transportation and logistics and retail sectors.
Specifically to the financial services sector, key Calgary-based corporations include the Central Fund of Canada Limited, EnerVest Diversified Income Trust, First Calgary Financial, Mawer, ARC Financial, Peters & Co. and FirstEnergy Capital.
Read more how Calgary's head office statistics compare with other major Canadian cities in Calgary Economic Development's Calgary head offices fact sheet.
Picking a head office location
The process of determining a head office location is complex. Factors in the decision-making process include: access to a qualified workforce and international markets; a well-developed and low-cost business environment with excellent infrastructure; and an innovative and entrepreneurial environment.
However, the impacts of head office presence can include: higher salaries for employees; proximity of high quality business, financial, creative and consulting service providers; the potential for greater retail spending; and increased charitable giving.
For company leaders, employees, investors and customers, the location of a corporation’s headquarters is an important element of its identity in terms of image, personality and positioning. Calgary offers the exceptional business environment and internationally renowned lifestyle that today’s companies are seeking.
In 2010, Calgary Economic Development studied head office activity in Calgary – why head offices locate where they do; what the trends are in head office location and growth; how Calgary meets the needs of head offices; and what policies need to be in place to ensure that this business segment continues to thrive. While the critical mass of head offices in Calgary is key to the city’s success, there are still challenges that must be overcome.
To read Calgary Economic Development’s recommendations for continued success, read the report “Home Base: What drives head office locations and Calgary’s place as a global business hub”.