Why This Tech Boss Would Never Move His Head Office To Sydney Or Melbourne

An Australian tech boss says he would never move his head office to Sydney or Melbourne (Photo: Getty Images)

Catcha Group chief executive Patrick Grove wants to move his business to a global city. But he’s told the AFR there’s no way he would consider Sydney or Melbourne.

Grove is Australian — and some of his online businesses are listed here — but the taxes are too high.

“If Australia is serious in being a ­global player, or even a serious regional player, then it needs to offer incentives or a tax regime that is competitive,” he told The Australian Financial Review.

“As our business scales, we are looking to re-base ourselves in a global city.

“Australia’s high tax environment means Sydney or Melbourne doesn’t even make the short list.”

Before he was an entrepreneur, Grove used to work for an Australian accounting firm. But he left because partners were paying nearly 50% in tax and the capital gains rate was too high.

And it is not just the company tax rate and corporate regulations that prevent him moving his office to a major Australian city. Grove also said the Abbott Government’s new deficit levy would contribute to a “brain drain” that is already bemoaned in Australia’s tech sector.

“All employees would be on base packages in excess of A$150,000 a year and often they will move to Asia for the exact same base salary – no pay increase – because at the end of the day when they factor in Australia’s high income tax, they are actually better off.

“This versus zero capital gains tax in Singapore.

“It made me wholeheartedly decide I didn’t want to be an entrepreneur based out of and paid out of Australia.”

“I would take the same amount of time risk and financial risk, yet probably end up with half the return if I’d stayed in Australia.”

There’s more here.

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