Industry strengths and capabilities

NSW's financial professional services sectors

NSW is Australia's most important market for the thriving financial and professional services sectors.

The state's financial and professional services sectors are centred in Sydney, the capital of NSW and Australia's commercial hub, which is home to 42% of Australia's top 500 companies.

More multinationals have their regional headquarters in Sydney than any other place in Australia, including:

  • recruiter Julia Ross (part of Chandler Macleod)
  • legal firms Herbert Smith Freehills and Norton Rose Fulbright, and
  • architectural professional services business Gensler.

Financial and insurance services

The state's financial and insurance services industry employed 186,000 people in 2015-16 and has established itself as a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region. Rated as triple-A by Standard and Poor's and Moody's, NSW provides a growing but stable and low-risk environment for the world's top financial and insurance services businesses. NSW is also home to more financial and insurance services companies' headquarters than any other Australian state or territory, while 95% of international banks operating in Australia, including 18 of the world’s 25 largest banks as ranked by Forbes, are headquartered in Sydney.

General professional services

NSW has the right infrastructure and people to underpin growth in professional services businesses. As can be seen in the table below, NSW is competitive with global professional services hubs such as Hong Kong, London and Singapore.

The state boasts a highly trained workforce, with more than half of its residents aged 15-74 tertiary qualified (Certificate Level III or higher).

In addition, more than one quarter of NSW's population was born overseas, and over 22% of NSW's population speak a language other than English at home, giving companies access to talent with multilingual abilities.

Businesses can benefit from the presence of some of the world's leading universities and research institutions, such as the:

NSW is also well-connected to the global economy, including through first-class telecommunications infrastructure and high-quality services.

The state has six international fibre-optic cable networks linking Australia with the United States, Europe and Asia. Sydney is at the heart of this telecommunications network and is a major internet exchange point.

NSW is an ideal location to do international business. The start of the working day on Australia's east coast overlaps with the close of markets in the United States, and our close of business overlaps with the start of Europe's business day.

NSW's time zone also offers favourable timing for trade in key Asian markets such as Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.