ACU’s Treasury Team has been recognised with a Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award for Mission Excellence for introducing the world’s first sustainability bond from a university.
Not only did the team secure $200 million in investor funds to finance our 10-year strategic infrastructure plan, but they did so in a way that strongly reflected ACU’s mission and values.
Funds from sustainability bonds issue will reduce ACU’s environmental footprint through investment in sustainable buildings and will also support teaching and research activities aimed at improving people’s lives.
The prize-winning team includes Associate Director Financial Operations Mitch Srbinovski, Associate Director Financial Corporate Services Paul Zappia, Financial Accountant (Treasury and Insurance) Rajan Wijey, Financial Accountant (Tax, Assets and AP) Katie Kung, Management Accountant (Financial Planning and Budgeting) Alex Graham and Executive Officer Anuschka Shaheen.
Mr Srbinovski explained that sustainability bonds must have both a social responsibility component and a green component.
“Issuing the sustainability bonds shows that the University is quite progressive,” Mr Srbinovski said.
It aligns very closely with our Mission and shows that we strongly support our Mission.”
The team had considered and planned for the financing of ACU’s 10-year infrastructure plan for two years, keeping in mind that community lies at the heart of our Mission.
When the International Capital Markets Association’s sustainability guidelines were released in June 2017 it became clear to the team that there was an opportunity to combine both environmental sustainability and social impact when securing the required funding.
Mr Alex Graham, Mr Paul Zappia, Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven, Ms Anuschka Shaheen and Mr Rajan Wijey.
Just a month later, in July 2017, ACU became the first Australian issuer and first university in the world to bring a sustainability bond to market.
“It was a really innovative way of realising capital funding, which any growing university needs,” Mr Graham said.
To be able to do it in a sustainable way was really the icing on the cake.”
Such a significant piece of work required the unique skills of each member of the Treasury Team to achieve their collective goal.
Mr Srbinovski and Chief Financial Officer Scott Jenkins also travelled to Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and around Australia to present the bond to potential investors.
“The team all worked really well together to achieve this result,” Mr Wijey said. “It was a team effort from everyone involved.”
The team also acknowledged the guidance of Chief Financial Officer Scott Jenkins, who led the Treasury Team.
The Treasury Team said it was very rewarding to be recognised with a Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award.
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