After Thursday’s announcement of Apex Group’s acquisition of Sanne Group plc enabled the firm to position itself as a global, top-tier independence service provider, servicing nearly 3 trillion US dollars in assets, Investment Officer Luxembourg asked Renaud Oury, Apex’s Chief Revenue and Data Officer to speak about the significance of the deal, particularly for Luxembourg.
“The Grand Duchy, with its multi-lingual and multi-jurisdictional nature, is the home of our single-source solution,” said Oury, explaining that the country acts as “the base for our banking, custody, depositary and ManCo solutions, in addition to fund and corporate services. . .In the global asset management market, Luxembourg plays a key role when it comes to creating a global network.”
The deal brings 250 former Sanne staff to Apex, bringing Apex to 1,100 “highly skilled experts based locally in Luxembourg,” said Oury. Worldwide, Bermuda-based Apex has over 10,000 staff in 80 offices in over 40 markets. In an 4 August Apex press release, Peter Hughes, the founder and CEO of Apex Group described the deal as “an inflection point in Apex Group’s story. “Our M&A strategy is not simply about growth, it’s about expanding our capabilities and experience to be the best possible service provider to our clients.”
Key fund jurisdiction
According to the latest Luxembourg PwC Manco barometer, Apex Group, along with its ManCo subsidiaries – Fundrock, LRI and now LIS – form the largest third party management offering in the Grand Duchy.
“It goes without saying that Luxembourg is an absolutely key fund jurisdiction, and it’s a strategic hub for our business,” Oury said. “Being able to strengthen our presence in the country has always been a key success factor for Apex Group and the addition of the Sanne business and people help us to realise this strength and solidify our position in the Luxembourg market.
Describing Apex as a “people business”, Oury said that “Finding, training and retaining the right talent has always been a priority for us to deliver our solution effectively in the Grand Duchy.” He added that “today, competition for talent in key locations such as Luxembourg has led us to think differently about how we fill critical roles – with a much greater focus on internal mobility than we have seen at Apex Group before.”
Speaking of Sanne, Oury said “the synergies are obvious – we are able to not only acknowledge but celebrate the strengths of each business and are excited to leverage this combined strength as we enter the next phase of our evolution.”
Promoting responsible finance
Oury said that Apex, the largest independent service provider in the Luxembourg alternatives market, wants “to leverage this position to actively contribute to the local ecosystem and promote responsible finance in the country.”
Apex said it is proud to have been the first provider in its space to have offset its lifetime carbon emission (as far back as 2003). Oury said the group intends to go further, pointing out that it is on the path of being net positive and has several initiatives driving positive change under way.
“With our increased scale and strength in Luxembourg, we look forward to promoting the jurisdiction in line with our own ESG focus and working together to drive positive change in the financial services space.”
Reflecting on the timing and context of the Sanne acquisition, Oury recalled that since Genstar Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm that invests in middle market companies, became involved with Apex in 2017, its assets under management have “surged” from 80 billion dollars to about 3 trillion in assets. This was accomplished by making 31 acquisitions in only 5 years, the company reported.
Oury addressed the difficult times by saying that “the strength of our model and the successful integrations programme we have in place enable us to weather a global pandemic and challenging market conditions, while still successfully bring multiple businesses together and not losing a single client as a result.” Oury added that being able to deliver high value to Apex’s clients, shareholder and employees in the current environment is the ultimate testament to the strength of our vision and the robustness of our strategy.”