Apex Group, the global administrator and fintech which last month took the reins at Australia’s Mainstream, has notched up another, more eclectic, milestone, mixing ESG with cricket.
Apex, which has a strong West Indian connection through the domicile of its chief executive and founder, Peter Hughes, became the ‘Official Sustainability Partner’ for the West Indies cricket team ahead of its defence of the T20 World Cup title held in Oman and UAE this month.
Believed to be a world first for major sports, Apex’s role is to identify and calculate the team’s carbon emissions and put in place an action plan to reduce and offset them.
Apex believes that everyone has a role to play in the battle against climate, especially businesses. At the elite level, sport is business too. The company says the global sports industry is responsible for at least 0.6 per cent of global emissions.
With ESG, Apex is also looking to benefit financially from the worldwide transition to a low-carbon environment while supporting its financial services clients in their increasing support of ESG investor trends.
Apex has a carbon footprint assessment service for clients as well as an ‘ESG Ratings and Advisory’ service, which has recently commenced a rollout in Asia Pacific. The service could prove popular with Australian and New Zealand clients of Mainstream in particular. It is focused on private markets and looks to drive capital towards ESG performance with specialist data and insights.
Rajiv Kalra, Apex’s Melbourne-based managing director for Australia, said last week (November 9) that there was a lot of interest locally from trustees, institutional investors and asset managers for the service. “With Mainstream’s recent acquisition, the clients will have access to Apex’s global extensive platform, including the ESG service,” he said.
Supporting the West Indies, through Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the West Indies Men’s Team, had an added advantage of being able to demonstrate some action being taken to protect parts of the world’s most beautiful, naturally pristine locations.
While it is a truly global business, with about 5,000 employees working from 50 offices around the world, Apex’s Peter Hughes has called Hamilton, Bermuda, home since starting the private equity-backed company in 2003.
And timing, ahead of COP26, which has grabbed world headlines – for better and worse, as it turned out – could not have been better from a marketing viewpoint.
“We encourage more sporting teams, venues and events to drive positive change and are here to be their sustainability partner, guiding them with firstly understanding their impacts, and then working toward an achievable plan to become carbon neutral and implement long-term sustainable change,” Apex says on its website.
“Apex Group is more than just a financial services provider; we want to drive positive change for a more sustainable future.”
Apex received the approval of Mainstream shareholders for the $415 million deal in the Federal Court on October 27. Mainstream adds a client list with assets of $295 billion to Apex’s US$1.5 trillion.
With the T20 World Cup, the West Indies were bundled out of finals contention with a loss to Australia last week (November 7), having already beaten Australia in a T20 series in the Caribbean this year. Australia went on to win the T20 World Cup for the first time, beating New Zealand on Sunday (November 14, Dubai time).
West Indies greats Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo (photo above, sporting the Apex logo) both retired from the CWI with the World Cup Australia match.