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Macquarie Group spent six years trying to find a niche between Canada’s big banks and its boutique brokerages. What the Australian financial firm found instead is that is a good way to get squeezed. After six pricey years of experimenting, Macquarie Group is giving up on fighting the country’s big banks. But it’s not giving up on Canada, instead going back to a boutique approach.
Macquarie Group spent six years trying to find a niche between Canada’s big banks and its boutique brokerages. What the Australian financial firm found instead is that is a good way to get squeezed. After six pricey years of experimenting, Macquarie Group is giving up on fighting the country’s big banks. But it’s not giving up on Canada, instead going back to a boutique approach.
(DANIEL MUNOZ/REUTERS)

Macquarie Group’s troubles run deeper than Canada

When Macquarie Group Ltd. cut ties with its Canadian retail brokerage and significantly scaled back the size of its Canadian investment banking group, the root reason was pretty obvious: right now, Canada’s a tough market for independents.

But there’s an important aspect of the story that hasn’t been getting much play. Globally, Macquarie Group Ltd. is struggling to return to its former glory.