Setting up a new financial services firm in Australia

BY   |  TUESDAY, 14 NOV 2023    3:58PM

This paper provides an overview of what it entails to set up a brand-new financial services firm in Australia. It is not an easy feat, and those involved need a unique set of skills, especially tenacity. It is based on a case study detailing what was required to establish Australian financial services from Webull Securities (Australia) Pty Ltd (Webull), initially a start-up providing financial services to retail investor, and later to wholesale clients, on behalf of its large US parent entity in accordance with its strategy to be licensed and launched in several regions globally.

The initial key items considered were as follows:

  • What did the firm wish to do in relation to financial services? 
  • What types of financial services and financial products did the firm wish to offer?
  • How would these financial services be provided (e.g. app only/app and desktop etc.)?
  • To what types of clients did the firm want to position its services and products?
  • Considerations for the firm necessary to achieve its goal; namely: 
  • appointing a CEO and chief compliance officer (CCO)
  • setting and working within a budget
  • obtaining an Australian financial services (AFS) licence
  • ascertaining the support functions required
  • determining the number of employees needed.
  • How to get everything done in the anticipated timeframe?
  • Measures of success.