Canaccord Genuity provides investment banking, advisory, sales and trading, equity research and fixed income services to corporate and institutional clients in Canada, the US, the UK & Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. We are differentiated by our proven execution capabilities and our ability to deliver truly global ideas and perspective in key sectors of the economy. In all regions, clients of Canaccord Genuity enjoy a consistent service offering that is rooted in deep industry experience and focused client attention. Operating as a culture of partners, we promote the sharing of ideas, best practices and value creation opportunities around the world.
During 2016, we placed a stronger emphasis on improving global coordination across our capital markets operations. We also added to the depth and quality of our regional leadership teams and invested strategically to improve our global capability in our core focus sectors. In doing so, we have created a platform that encourages cross-border collaboration and one we expect will create stronger outcomes for our clients and our shareholders.
At every stage of the business cycle, we are dedicated to delivering measurable value for clients focused on growth.
During fiscal 2016, our global capital markets operations earned revenue of $532.3 million. Our US operation was the strongest contributor to this total, with annual revenue of $217.4 million, a record for this business.
Our UK & Europe operation continued to be negatively impacted by the market downturn, most notably during the second half of the fiscal year as issuers remained cautious in their approach to capital raising activities, driven by persistent economic uncertainty and an impending referendum. During the fiscal year, we took steps to significantly refocus this business, to improve its long term stability and profitability. This was also a difficult year for our Canadian business, a historically strong performer. With improving performance in diversified sectors and early signs of activity in the natural resource sectors, we are confident this business will quickly return to material profitability.
In the Asia-Pacific region, our Australian business continues to be a strong and growing competitor. During our fourth fiscal quarter, we announced the sale of our Singapore operations, a non-core asset. This development allows us to provide greater focus on our remaining Asia-Pacific operations, which complement the broader capabilities of our operations in North America and the UK & Europe. We continue to invest in our capabilities in Dubai and Tel Aviv, both of which complement our global capital raising abilities and enhance our global distribution to investors with increasing demand for exposure to investments in global growth opportunities.
While a difficult global market environment continued to impact activity levels across our capital markets operations throughout the fiscal year, we used the period productively to refocus our businesses and align our core offerings, so that we can compete globally in our core focus sectors, increase cross-selling opportunities and, ultimately, grow our profitability.
In the second half of the year, we undertook restructuring initiatives to focus our operations and exit underperforming businesses. A leaner and more focused structure allows us to prioritize coverage in the areas where we can be the mid-market leader, capable of delivering stronger returns in the coming year.
We are beginning to see results of our initiatives to streamline our global capital markets operations and reduce our fixed costs. Excluding significant items, we were able to decrease total expenses for this business by 6% over the fiscal year. The impact of our restructuring initiatives was also evidenced in our fourth quarter general and administrative expense, which decreased by 30% compared to the previous fiscal quarter, while revenues for this business increased by 14% over the same period.
During the year, we reorganized our global sales and trading desks to promote cross-border collaboration and drive cross-selling opportunities, which we expect will strengthen our client relationships and, ultimately, our profitability. Additionally, by enhancing our cross-border equity research and corporate access capabilities, we look forward to improving returns on our marketing efforts, while lowering our overall costs.
We also began the international rollout of Quest®, Canaccord Genuity’s proprietary offering of online analytical tools, valuation models and market commentary. Based on the success of the initial launch in the UK & Europe, we expect Quest® to provide opportunities for revenue growth and to become a valuable tool for enhancing our client relationships.
In all of our markets, we continue to experience an excellent recruiting environment, which we have used to our advantage to strengthen core teams in alignment with our global efforts. We are also fortunate to have cultivated a pipeline of activity in all of our primary markets, and we are very well positioned to successfully execute on these mandates when market conditions permit.
In any market environment, we are relentlessly focused on capturing operating efficiencies and further integrating our global capital markets operations to strengthen cross-border coordination and drive profitability.