Pierre Weimerskirch (APEX): The Grand Duchy as a Super Jurisdiction
In 2019, Pierre Weimerskirch sold LIS to Sanne. Four years and several acquisitions by APEX later, he is taking the lead of a group encompassing seven entities and 1,200 Luxembourg employees, with undiminished enthusiasm. Interview.
Why is the Grand-Duchy a super jurisdiction for APEX Group?
First, Luxembourg is important for APEX, because it is the second-ranked fund center worldwide and the number one in Europe. We serve the asset management industry from here through seven entities* employing 1,200 people with $500 billion of assets under management. Our direct competitors do not have a bank, but we do, and banking competitors do not offer manco or corporate services to the extent that we do. Inside our group, we have 10,000 employees working in 45 countries with 80 offices, but we are the only jurisdiction offering fund admin, depositary, and supermanco services. We strongly believe in the further growth of Luxembourg and we want to be a part of it. Our founder, Peter Hughes, has built this group in only 19 years with beliefs, which allow us to share a strong culture, highly mature ESG services, and a DE&I approach at the forefront of our industry standards. APEX is driven by a strong spirit of entrepreneurship.
“APEX is driven by a strong spirit of entrepreneurship”
What is your key focus?
I look at the APEX group from our clients’ perspective. With this in mind, I have three main priorities: Firstly, I want to raise awareness of the APEX brand by being more present in the global conversation. This is so that our clients and partners understand how we can help and our willingness to contribute actively to the development of the fund and financial center. Secondly, I want to align all our entities with the same strategy and operating model. This will allow asset managers to use APEX as a single source solution, taking care of the whole complexity of their business, allowing them to focus on their core activities. Finally, I want to make sure that we strengthen our “employer of choice” status by sharing how great it is to work for a fast-growing company that has the means for its ambition. Today, you really need deep pockets to finance the necessary tech investments, product research and to offer motivating career development opportunities.
What opportunities do you see for the region and product offering?
On the opportunity side, I think that the Grand Duchy can reach new markets. First, by launching new services and second by leveraging the power of our group which has more than 10,000 employees around the world. We could bring many more funds here from Asia and America for example. Collectively, we need to make sure that the country remains competitive compared to other jurisdictions. We should think of Luxembourg as a highly reactive marketplace where buyers and sellers can quickly and safely close deals. As a Luxembourger, I can tell you that this has always been the main competitive advantage of our nation: To implement regulations fast and in an attractive way. The main challenge I identify is related to the scarcity of talent, not just cross-border but also further away. At APEX, we have a program called “Jump” where we bring talent from other jurisdictions to Luxembourg. APEX will do its part, but we cannot succeed alone. We need the active participation of the BIG4, the government, and of competitors to make sure – for example - that work permits are delivered fast and that apartments remain affordable for young professionals. By managing this together, Luxembourg will benefit hugely from the current democratization of alternative investments, which allows individual investors to join private equity funds. I anticipate this as the next wave of growth.
*Sanne, European Depositary Bank, Apex corporate services, Apex financial services and 3 mancos : LRI, LIS, Fundrock