Top 15 Famous Companies in Sydney

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No talk about the Australian economy is complete without mention of Sydney, the financial capital of Australia.

And in this blog, we shift our focus to the top famous companies in Sydney.

The blog is in follow up to our blogs covering the major cities across Australia, including:

– Top Companies in Melbourne 

Famous Companies in Adelaide

–  Famous Companies in Perth 

Successful companies in Australia

New South Wales city is the heartbeat of Australia, making up one-third of the country’s GDP (source: NSW Government).

Some key economic facts to know about Sydney are:

  1. It ranks as one of the 10 largest economies in the Asia-Pacific region and as one of the 40 largest worldwide.
  2. It is the financial capital of the country, with 80% of all foreign and local banks being headquartered there.
  3. The city is home to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), which also includes the Futures Exchange.
  4. 60% of Australia’s fintech industry is situated in the city.

These facts and statistics indicate one thing in particular: Sydney is the prime location for business in Australia.
Driving the growth of the city is Sydney’s connectivity and ease of living.

No wonder, the diverse city is booming with life and businesses and some of these businesses are a part of the largest businesses in Australia.

In this article, as a part of our running series on top companies in Australia, we look at the top 15 businesses (out of the 85,000 plus currently operating) in Sydney.
Without any further adieu, let’s get to the list:

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Matt Comyn

Year of Establishment: 1911

Market Capitalisation:  A$186.54 billion

Industry:  Banking

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is one of the country’s “big four” banking institutions.

While its headquarters are located in Sydney, CBA is a multinational bank with a presence in New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, and all across Asia.

The bank was created by the Australian government in 1911 as a savings and general banking entity.

Its first branch opened the following year in Melbourne, and its headquarters were moved to Sydney in 1916, where CBA has stayed ever since.

It began to acquire central bank status in 1920 before diversifying in the 1960s to include areas such as insurance and travel.

The bank was privatized in 1991 and listed on the Australian stock exchange the same year.

While numerous controversies have rocked the bank in the past few decades, it still boasts 875 locations worldwide, as well as revenue in excess of A$30 billion, making it the top company from Sydney.

Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC)

Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC) - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Peter King

Year of Establishment: 1817

Market Capitalisation:  A$94.69 billion

Industry:  Banking

The Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC) is technically one of Australia’s oldest banks.

Founded in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales, the bank expanded throughout Australia in the coming decades, finally entering Tasmania in 1910.

Over the next 6 decades, BNSW grew by acquiring several other banks, such as the Western Australian Bank in 1927. It became known as Westpac when it merged with the Commercial Bank of Australia in 1982.

With 1,204 branches worldwide and over 40,000 employees, WBC is one of Australia’s biggest businesses and takes its place as the second-biggest business situated in Sydney.

The bank generated revenue of A$20.65 billion in 2019, highlighting its position as a major player in Australian business.

Macquarie Group (MQG)

Macquarie Group (MQG) - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Shemara Wikramanayake

Year of Establishment: 1969

Market Capitalisation:  A$65.8 billion

Industry:  Financial Services

The Macquarie Group holds a number of titles as the world’s largest infrastructure manager and Australia’s most prominently ranked mergers and acquisition adviser.

The global financial services group was founded in 1969 as Hill Samuel Australia Limited. In 1971, the new group attained the biggest mandate in Australian history at US$60 million and has expanded ever since.

It’s the 1980s that transformed the Macquarie Group into what it is today. Market deregulation prompted HSA to submit a bid for a new Australian-controlled bank known as Macquarie Bank Limited in 1985, which became the second private trading bank to be established in Australia in recent times.

Since then, the Macquarie Group has been expanding rapidly, with offices in New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

It continued to grow in Asia in the early 2000s, opening up in Seoul and Tokyo, with its business reaching Europe in the mid-2000s. With annual revenue of more than A$12 billion, it is one of Sydney’s largest companies.


Woolworths - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Brad Banducci

Year of Establishment: 1924

Market Capitalisation:  A$49.8 billion

Industry:  Retail

Woolworths Supermarkets is Australia’s largest supermarket chain with around 33% of the market share in 2019.

However, it is the boom in business the Covid-19 pandemic gave to supermarkets that have helped Woolworths make its way onto this list.

Founded in 1924, the first Woolworths store opened in Sydney’s Imperial Arcade. The company has operated from the city ever since, even as it has expanded to numerous locations all over the country.

Woolworths currently operates more than 1000 locations all over Australia.

The company has seen some controversy of late but continues to be Australia’s pre-eminent retail choice. With revenue in excess of A$42 billion and more than 225,000 employees, Woolworths easily makes its way onto this list of top Sydney companies.

Goodman Group

Goodman Group - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Gregory Goodman

Year of Establishment: 1989

Market Capitalisation:  A$39.45 billion

Industry:  Commercial Property

The Goodman Group is one of the youngest companies on this list, but that hasn’t stopped it from being ranked as one of Australia’s largest real estate groups (investment).

The global real estate manager started out as a private property trust that invested in and managed industrial properties. In 1995, the Goodman Group made its way onto the ASX and joined hands with the Macquarie Industrial Trust in 2000 to become the Macquarie Goodman Industrial Trust.

The Macquarie group sold its stake in 2007, and the newly reformed Goodman Group has focused on diversifying its business since then.

As of 2020, the company was managing 392 properties globally in 17 countries, with Goodman UK being one of the biggest subsidiaries.

With revenue of A$1.5 billion, the Goodman Group may not make as much money as the other companies on this list, but the service it provides is far more valuable.

Aristocrat Leisure

Aristocrat Leisure - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Trevor Croker

Year of Establishment: 1953

Market Capitalisation:  A$29 billion

Industry:  Gambling

Aristocrat Leisure is a departure from the other companies on this list.

The company is the largest manufacturer of gambling machines in Australia and the second largest manufacturer of slot machines globally.

With offices in the United States, South Africa, and Russia, Aristocrat Leisure is one of the world’s biggest gaming companies.

With more than A$4 billion in annual revenue, the gambling machine manufacturer is also one of the top companies based in Sydney.

Sydney Airport

Sydney Airport - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Geoff Culbert

Year of Establishment: 2002

Market Capitalisation:  A$22.1 billion

Industry:  Transportation

The Sydney Airport is the busiest airport in Australia and also one of the world’s longest-operated ones.

Handling more than 40 million passengers a year, it also ranks as one of the busiest airports in the world.

The company that operated it since 2002, Sydney Airport Holdings, makes its way onto this list just because of that.

If you’re wondering about the usage of the past tense in the previous sentence, that’s because Sydney Airport Holdings accepted a bit of A$21.6 billion from the Sydney Aviation Alliance to sell the airport.

The massive sum offers a fair look at how big of a money maker the airport is.

Sonic Healthcare

Sonic Healthcare - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Dr. Colin Goldscmidt

Year of Establishment: 1934

Market Capitalisation:  A$19.02 billion

Industry:  Healthcare

Sonic Healthcare provides pathology, radiology, and laboratory services to healthcare units all around the world.

It is the largest medical equipment provider in Europe and Australasia, as well as the third-largest in the USA.

Sonic is not just listed on the ASX, but also on the S&P. It made over $6 billion in revenue in 2019, affirming its place as one of the largest companies in Australia and Sydney.

WiseTech Global

WiseTech Global - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Richard White

Year of Establishment: 1994

Market Capitalisation:  A$17.11 billion

Industry:  Logistics

WiseTech Global is a company that’s shown lots of growth in recent years, with many investors taking an interest in the technology company due to its focus on logistics and e-commerce.

The market cap of the company has nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic as the world looks to turn towards smarter solutions for global transport.

WiseTech Global has profited off of just that, with its optimized supply chain and logistics solutions making it a highly sought-after option for investors.

QBE Insurance Group

CEO: Andrew Horton

Year of Establishment: 1886

Market Capitalisation:  A$16.98 billion

Industry:  Insurance

Formerly known as North Queensland Insurance, the QBE Insurance Group is one of the oldest companies still operating in Australia.

More than that, they have taken their business global. QBE Insurance currently employs a mammoth 11,000 plus employees in 27 countries!

QBE Insurance has a prominent presence in North America, with its American headquarters located in New York. Its international headquarters are in London, with that division overseeing business in Europe and Asia.

The company generated a revenue of nearly A$12 billion in 2020, helping it find a place on this list.

Scentre Group

Scentre Group - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Peter Allen

Year of Establishment: 1960

Market Capitalisation:  A$15.62 billion

Industry:  Real Estate

Scentre Group is essentially a shopping center company that manages real estate, including several shopping centers in Australia and New Zealand.

In 2019, the Scentre Group portfolio included over 12,000 retail outlets, coming in at a combined A$39.4 billion in worth.

Scentre is an initiative started by the Westfield Development Corporation in 2014 to manage the shopping centers failing under their umbrella since 1959.

Although its annual revenue isn’t reported, Scentre Group makes its way onto the list simply due to the magnitude of the assets they manage.

Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)

Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Dominic Stevens

Year of Establishment: 1987

Market Capitalisation:  A$15.46 billion

Industry:  Stock Exchange

Now we come to the Australian Securities Exchange itself.

The ASX was founded in 1987 and is located in Sydney simply because of how important the city is to Australian business.

You might be wondering how the ASX only has a market cap of $15 billion. Well, that’s just the operation side of it. The entire exchange, with all of its stocks and futures caps at far more – around A$1.6 trillion.

Ramsay Health Care (RHC)

Ramsay Health Care (RHC) - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Craig McNally

Year of Establishment: 1964

Market Capitalisation:  A$15.41 billion

Industry:  Healthcare

RHC is the largest private hospital group in Australia. Founded in 1964 by Paul Ramsay, the company has been a permanent fixture in Sydney’s healthcare and business sector ever since.

RHC has around 500 locations all over the world, with most of them in Australia. Along with Australia, RHC also owns hospitals in France, the UK, and Malaysia, with the UK alone housing 22 of RHC’s locations.

The company posted revenue of more than A$12 billion in 2020, making it one of Sydney’s largest companies.


Brambles - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Graham Chipchase

Year of Establishment: 1875

Market Capitalisation:  A$15.22 billion

Industry:  Commercial and Professional Services

Brambles is an essential player in the Australian business ecosystem as its services allow numerous other businesses to operate.

The company primarily deals in the pooling of pallets, containers, crates, and unit-load equipment.

Brambles took a major financial hit during the Covid-19 pandemic as the construction industry ground down to a halt in Australia and all around the world.

However, the scale of the business and its importance ensure that there is no threat to Brambles’ standing as one of the top companies in Sydney.


Cochlear - Famous Companies in Sydney

CEO: Dig Howitt

Year of Establishment: 1981

Market Capitalisation:  A$14.11 billion

Industry:  Biotechnology

Cochlear, just like the name suggests, is a company that manufactures cochlear implants. Along with that, they also design and manufacture electro-acoustic and bone conduction implants.

The implants are manufactured mainly in Australia and Sweden and are supplied to more than 100 countries.

Along with the manufacture and sale of implants, Cochlear is also involved in researching implant technology, with massive R&D spending.

Finally, with revenue exceeding A$1 billion, Cochlear is also one of Sydney’s largest companies.

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