Boston Financial Services Leadership Council

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Massachusetts Financial Services Sector Poised for Growth

Jun. 19, 2015 | News Article

The Massachusetts financial services sector, already a cornerstone of the state’s economy, is poised for significant potential growth over the next 10 years. That’s one of the key findings of Talent and Technology – A 2024 Vision, a comprehensive report on the outlook and critical human capital needs for an increasingly important pillar of the state economy.

The report’s key findings:

Where we are today:

  • Massachusetts asset management and retirement savings, a major local strength, stands to benefit disproportionately from the 60 percent projected growth in global investable assets, to $100 trillion, by 2020. Massachusetts’ financial services industry growth is projected at an annual rate of 2.1 percent, faster than the US financial services industry.
  • A Hub for Fintech Innovation: Massachusetts, with its combination of global financial services leaders and big data startups, together with the talent base in the universities, is positioned to grow as a Fintech center.


  • Tech talent needs are growing: Mass Finance anticipates significant technology-related hiring needs as the sector increasingly is technology focused, driven by advances in Fintech, risk management, and big data and requirements for compliance and cybersecurity.
  • Financial services jobs are changing, calling for a blend of quantitative and business skills. More collaborative partnerships between policymakers, educators and business are called for to prepare the next-generation workforce.
  • In the midst of change, sector stability: Massachusetts’ share of financial services employment within the U.S. is expected to remain stable through 2022.

The Massachusetts Financial Services Portfolio Today

  • State’s most important for-profit sector: Provides 5.1% of state employment, 9% of GSP. 
  •  Average employee income of $115,810/yr, more than double the state average.
  • Boston is home to 3 of the top 10 retirement savings managers, making it the number one cluster of market leaders.
  • Home of the mutual fund, MA accounts for 18% of assets under management in the U.S. Assets under management in the state grew 16.3% in 2013.
  • A national leader in custody and administration services with two of the nation’s largest operations, State Street and BNY Mellon, totaling approximately $55 trillion in assets under custody and administration.
  • One of two states to be home to top 10 insurers in each of the property & casualty, life, and health sectors.
  • MA is home to 6 of the top 50 hedge fund managers in the U.S.
  • Of the $30.5 billion invested by the VC sector in 2013, 12% was invested in New England-based firms
  • Third to NY and CA in number of PE firms, third in aggregate capital raised over the last 10 years
  • Home to 3 of the top 15 private equity firms in total funds raised over the last 10 years

The Future Vision: Key policy considerations

Massachusetts needs to implement a talent strategy that captures the momentum of the financial services industry and fuels its future growth. Possible strategies include:

  •  Brand Massachusetts financial services as a growth industry focused on tech innovation and one of the world’s leading retirement asset management centers.
  • As a center for retirement assets, promote an agenda that preserves retirement savings incentives and expands access to next-generation financial services technology.
  • R&D: Investing in early-stage research and talent development through a Big Data Research Center of Excellence.
  • Expand university training for 25-35-year-olds, in coordination with the financial services industry to upgrade skills or cross-over to financial services.
  • Capture more international student talent, a strong suit of Massachusetts with some 50,000 foreign students here, through immigration reform.  
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