Where to embark on your global career?

By Shane Conroy

Ready to begin your new global career? A new report reveals the leading cities you should add to your shortlist if you’re in the finance industry. 

As a new graduate, you literally have a world of possibilities open to you. But where is the best place to begin your new global career?

The Qatar Financial Centre’s latest Global Financial Centres Index can help answer that question, as it reveals the most important cities in the global financial system.

London narrowly beat out New York to take the top ranking. However, the big improvers are Toronto and Washington DC as they enter the top 10 on the back of strong growth.

The Asian financial centers of Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong should also be on your radar as the rapidly developing Asia/Pacific region continues to wrest dominance from North America and Western Europe. 

Here’s the lowdown on the cities who ranked from 10 to 1.

#10: Washington DC

The US capital overtook Chicago and Boston to score a top 10 global ranking, powered largely by strong financial sector development. The city also rose an impressive five ranking places in the professional services sector and posted growth in the insurance industry.   

#9: San Francisco

San Francisco’s rapidly developing financial sector saw the city climb an impressive 10 ranking positions in that category, along with strong performance in human capital. The city also posted strong growth in the professional services, insurance and investment management sectors. 

#8: Toronto

Canada’s leading financial center is up 10 rating points to take out second place in North American rankings behind only New York. Toronto soared 13 ranking places in human capital, and saw strong increases in its reputation and business environment scores. The city also experienced impressive gains in the investment management and government and regulatory sectors.   

#7: Zurich

Switzerland’s major financial center takes second place in Western Europe following a strong boost to its human capital ranking. Of concern, however, is its four-place fall in both the investment management and professional services sectors. On the bright side, the city remained steady as a major global banking destination.

 #6: Seoul

 The South Korean city continues its growth as a global financial powerhouse as it chases down a top-five ranking just one rating point behind fifth-placed Tokyo. The city’s rapid rise comes off the back of a major boost to its business environment rating, along with a modest increase to its infrastructure and human capital scores. It did, however, fall four ranking places for financial sector development.

 #5: Tokyo

Japan’s financial capital clings on to its top five ranking after showing a slight dip in its infrastructure ranking. However, Tokyo showed steady growth in the banking and government and regulatory sectors. The city will need to keep a close eye on its four place fall in the professional services sector if it is to maintain its top five standing in future reports.  

 #4: Singapore 

Singapore is a city on the rise. It rates as the number one destination likely to become more significant in the global financial landscape, and will play a central role in Asia’s continued growth. An improvement in the city’s infrastructure ranking, along with increases in its standing in the insurance and professional services sectors is driving its strong performance as a global financial center.

#3: Hong Kong

Hong Kong is also strongly tipped to increase its standing as a major global player as Asia’s burgeoning economy takes center stage. The city rose one ranking place for business environment, and consolidated its top three ranking in financial sector development, infrastructure, human capital and reputation. It’s also a top three global city in the investment management, banking and government and regulatory sectors.

 #2: New York

 The Big Apple may have fallen from grace as the world’s number one financial capital, but the race remains hot with New York only eight rating points behind top-placed London. The city remained steady in financial sector development and infrastructure, and took out top world ranking in the insurance sector. It also holds onto second place in the investment management, banking, government and regulatory, and professional services industries.

 #1: London

 The jewel in the UK’s crown usurps New York as the new top-ranking global financial center with a healthy 12-point swing in its favor. London took out first place in all five competitive measures, and is rated highest in the investment management, banking, government and regulatory, and professional services sectors

Wherever you choose to begin your career, you can be sure you’ll fill your passport as you take on the global economy.