\ NSW Premier Launches Financial Services Knowledge Hub – Committee For Sydney

Media Release

NSW Premier Launches Financial Services Knowledge Hub

March 11, 2015

NSW Premier Mike Baird has officially launched the Committee for Sydney-led Financial Services Knowledge Hub, welcoming it as a critical move in driving growth for the State’s $60 billion financial services sector.

Mr Baird said the Knowledge Hub’s first project would include a new dedicated space in the Sydney CBD where financial technology start-up companies can use low-cost work spaces and collaborate.

“We are delighted to support the establishment of this new Financial Services Knowledge Hub, which will play a critical role in growing the State’s $60 billion financial services sector,” Mr Baird said.

“The NSW Government is proud to support the Hub’s first project, Stone and Chalk, which will encourage innovation and creativity in the financial technology – or Fintech – sector,” said Mr Baird.

“Stone and Chalk will provide Fintech start-ups with subsidised office space to collaborate, network and investigate venture capital opportunities.

“The fast-growing Fintech sector will further strengthen Sydney’s position as Australia’s business capital and a globally-recognised and competitive finance sector,” Mr Baird said.

The Financial Services Knowledge Hub is being coordinated by the Committee for Sydney in conjunction with our members and other key stakeholders in the finance and information, communication technology (ICT) sectors.

Lucy Turnbull, AO, Chair of the Committee for Sydney, highlighted that the initiative was a great example of public-private sector partnership where industry and government worked together to leverage the sector’s strengths and therefore generate further growth.

“Whilst Australia’s GDP grew by only 2.5 per cent last year, Sydney’s grew by four per cent. At the heart of this was Sydney’s globally competitive financial services sector,” Ms Turnbull said.

“This sector will be increasingly important as the nation shifts away from resources and the Knowledge Hub is therefore not only timely but critical to the future of the State and nation in ensuring that Sydney collaborates to compete.”

The Committee for Sydney has appointed The Hon Warwick Smith AM, Senior Managing Director ANZ Banking Group, as Chair of the Knowledge Hub. Mr Smith said it was a privilege to be appointed to this position.

“During my career in the financial services sector, I have always recognised the vital importance of collaboration and innovation which will be the drivers of the Knowledge Hub initiatives,” he said.

“I look forward to the Knowledge Hub unlocking new opportunities, building capabilities and enhancing productivity and competitiveness,” said Mr Smith.

Lucy Turnbull stressed the significant opportunity that the Hub will offer Sydney to take a lead role in Financial Services within the Asia-Pacific region, in particular in the fast-growing Fintech sector.

“The very essence of Fintech is the coming together of the financial services and ICT sectors. If you look to London and New York the initiatives that are successfully growing their Fintech sectors are based on the idea of collaboration, both between the industry sectors and the public and private sectors,” said Lucy Turnbull.

Other initial focus areas for the Knowledge Hub will include:

  • contributing to NSW Government-funded research examining Renminbi trading centres
  • researching the indirect benefits provided by the financial services industry to the wider economy, along with research into methods of increasing the regulatory responsiveness of the Australian financial system, and
  • Driving other recommendations from Unlocking the potential: the Fintech opportunity for Sydney, a report produced last year by the Committee for Sydney in collaboration with KPMG.

NSW Trade & Investment is supporting the creation of industry-led Knowledge Hubs across five critical industry sectors, as part of the NSW Government’s Economic Development Framework.

To date, the Financial Services, Digital Creative, Energy Innovation and Medical Technology Knowledge Hubs have been launched, with the Transport and Logistics hub to be launched shortly.

More information on the Financial Services Knowledge Hub can be found at localhost:3000/sydney/ or www.trade.nsw.gov.au

The Fintech Report can be downloaded from localhost:3000/sydney

More information on Stone and Chalk can be found at www.stoneandchalk.com.au

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