Questrade Financial Group (QFG) – the parent company of QuestGlobal Inc. – is one of Canada’s largest non-bank financial services providers. Established in 1999 as a discount brokerage and well known for its flagship brand Questrade Inc., it was the first Canadian company to offer electronic trading to retail traders and is considered by many to be the country’s first true homegrown fintech.

Led by founder, and current president and CEO, Edward Kholodenko, the company’s early value proposition was centred around the simple concept of an accessible and cost-effective trading tool that could be scaled to the masses. Today, that concept has become a reality, and is reflected in QFG’s current mission statement, which is to help all Canadians become much more financially successful and secure.

Since its inception 24 years ago, QFG has undergone exponential growth, expanding its operations to offer a wide range of financial services, and growing to a team of 3,000 employees across seven countries globally. Presently, QFG’s product and service offering spans securities and foreign currency investment, professionally managed investment portfolios, mortgages, insurance, real estate services, and pointof-sale lending with several more on the horizon. It also boasts assets under management (AUM) of over $40 billion

Establishing QuestGlobal in Barbados

In 2009, QFG made the strategic decision to invest in the unique skillsets and expertise of its internal teams in order to build its own proprietary trading platform from the ground up. While this was a task that few North American organizations (if any) had previously attempted, the end result was a leading-edge, digital-first platform that, to this day, remains wholly owned by the company. Today, QFG’s platforms are viewed among the top in North America and feature best-in-class capabilities, mobile applications, and integrated investment tools and resources.

As QFG has continued to grow and expand its offering, the company has seized several opportunities to grow its operations globally. It took the next step in this growth trajectory in 2021, when it made another bold decision to invest heavily in Barbados with a newly formed subsidiary, QuestGlobal Inc. Conceived with a five-year strategic roadmap in mind, QuestGlobal Inc. aims to expand QFG’s presence and spark the development of the next generation of trading platforms leveraging the very best of cutting-edge technologies and capabilities.

Over the course of just two short years, QuestGlobal has grown to a team of 30 people with extensive expertise in software development and business support services. The team has also established an international trading desk, in-house compliance function, and call centre agents tasked with supporting the Canadian entity in addressing complex customer service issues. Praneil Ladwa, Chief Product Officer and Head of International Operations, provides his view on the QuestGlobal expansion:

“We chose Barbados for a multitude of reasons. A topline reason is the engaged regulatory and political landscape in Barbados led by leaders and professionals who are committed to making the island a welcoming business destination. The quickly growing business ecosystem and government efforts to attract international business were also important considerations as it was important for our expansion process to be as smooth as possible. Another significant consideration was the education system and resulting talent pool in Barbados, which is top tier. We have hired exceptional, caring talent with engineering, finance, compliance, and trading expertise. Being located here, we can also work seamlessly with our Canadian affiliates as we’re in the same time zone and have the benefit of operating from an international hub with direct flights to Toronto, Europe, and the United States daily”

Bringing Global Fintech Culture to Barbados

Mirrored after QFG’s global headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, which were inspired by workspaces that encourage workstyle flexibility and collaboration, the QuestGlobal offices in Barbados feature a similar aesthetic. With an open-office design that is accentuated by large digital screens that display realtime market quotes and ergonomic sit-stand workstations with multiple screens, the space is designed to exemplify the gold standard of fintech culture. That gold standard is further highlighted in the space with a dedicated mural depicting each of QFG’s values (abbreviated as “IQ-Tech”): Innovative, Curious and Optimistic, Team Oriented and Think Enterprise-Wide, Entrepreneurial and Agile, Customer-Centric, and Honest with Integrity.

Arlene Quintyne, Director, Finance and People Operations, shares her perspective on QuestGlobal’s unique workstyle approach:

“As a company, we understand the importance of supporting our people and allowing them to be productive in different environments. Flexibility and hybrid-working are cornerstones to this approach, with a particular focus on work-life balance. We understand our teams have priorities outside of work, so we welcome them to adjust their day-to-day to fit their preferred workstyle.
Within the office, we have also made sure to have lots of social spaces, a well-stocked kitchen, and places for employees to unwind with video games and other activities like foosball. In the end, we want to maintain the QFG standard of a collaborative, high-performing, respectful, and inclusive workplace for all our teams with the goal of continued success in delivering for our customers!”

Visit Questtrade for more information.