Victoria to attract financial services groups

By John Wilkinson

TheVictorian State Government is set to release an action plan to boost the number of financial services companies in Melbourne.

Victorian Minister for the Financial Services Industry Tim Holding says the action plan will promote the state as a “centre of excellence” for the sector.

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“In the Asia Pacific region, Australia has the largest managed fund industry and we see opportunities to make Melbourne a base for exporting to that region,” Holding says.

Vanguard Australiais one firm already using Melbourne as its base for expansion into Asia, given it offers products in Singapore and Japan from its Victorian base and is looking to expand into Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea.

“Our progress in Asia is a marathon rather than a sprint. We are also looking at China and India, but it is a bit early for us to enter those markets,” Vanguard Australia chief executive Jeremy Duffield says.

The Minister and Duffield were speaking at a symposium in Melbourne last week to identify the products and financial services available in the state.

There are 39 banks, 90 venture capital funds and 450 managed funds operating out of Victoria. The state also hosts the majority of the nation’s major superannuation funds.

The financial services industry employs about 100,000 people and Holding says it is a key source for economic growth in Victoria.

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