Professional services

Operation profile

The role and importance of financially oriented professional services has grown significantly in recent decades, supporting the rapid globalization of commerce. Fierce competition exists between global financial centers to attract and retain international financial services operations.

The representative operation modeled is an international financial services business providing a range of services that may include securities trading, foreign exchange, funds management, wealth management, and/or treasury activities. The business is assumed to operate with a primary focus on serving non-resident businesses/clients. As detailed in the following table, this operation is characterized by:

  • Leased office space
  • A workforce consisting mostly of professional staff with significant expertise in finance, banking, and related fields.

The business is assumed to operate as a fully owned subsidiary of a parent firm. Reflecting the high value of the services being provided, revenue is allocated to the business on a "cost-plus" basis using an 18 percent mark-up.

Summary of operating parameters

Industry: Professional services

Operation: International financial services

Facilities requirements
Class A downtown office space leased - ft2 (1,301 m2)

Other initial investment requirements
   Office equipment - US $'000
   Equity financing - % of project costs

   Sales and administration
   Customer support
Total employees

Energy requirements
   Electricity: monthly consumption demand - kWh

Other annual operating characteristics
   Sales at full production - US $'000
   Other operating costs - US $'000

** This operation represents a cost center. For taxation purposes, corporate revenue allocated to the operation is assumed to be cost-of-operation, plus 18% markup.

International results

International results are illustrated in the following chart. These results reflect the combined impact of 26 location-sensitive cost components applied to the modeled operation. Detailed results for these countries, by individual cost component, are available as a separate table.

City results

The following table profiles results for selected cities, by country, from among the 111 cities featured in this report. Results for all other cities included in the study can be found in the Results lookup section of this website.

Results for selected cities
Industry: Professional services
Operation: International financial services
North America – selected cluster cities
Country and CityIndex & Rank1
CACalgary, AB75.521
 Halifax, NS67.07
 Montreal, QC71.315
 Toronto, ON73.519
 Vancouver, BC71.616
MXMexico City, DF58.92
 Monterrey, NL55.01
USBoston, MA103.6109
 Charlotte, NC89.276
 Chicago, IL96.3102
 Denver, CO90.586
 Los Angeles, CA99.5105
 Miami, FL90.891
 New York City, NY114.5111
 Omaha, NE85.155
 Philadelphia, PA98.5104
 San Francisco, CA107.7110
1  Rank among 111 featured cities.
International locations – all cities
Country and CityIndex & Rank1
1  Rank among 111 featured cities.

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