Australian network CUB CLUB OF UNITED BUSINESS off ers luxurious business spaces that are perfect for connecting with other members, hosting meetings or even just escaping to work or relax in privacy.
Today’s business world can be a real wilderness, confusing and difficult to navigate. So imagine a place devoted to building your business network, a place with an elegant ambiance where you meet people who can set you on the right path, open up new opportunities. Welcome to CUB Club of United Businesses, an expanding network of members’ clubs with clubhouses in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. Many private members’ clubs are all about relaxation, taking a step away from the high-octane atmosphere of the business world. CUB has taken the opposite approach: members come here specifically to work, to network, and to learn from the present and future titans of Australian and global business. “One of the main reasons our members come here is to meet other members”, says Anthony Mullane, the cofounder and director of CUB.
The first CUB clubhouse opened its doors in Sydney in October 2015, the brainchild of entrepreneur Daniel Hakim. Located in the hip district of Darlinghurst in a building that was formerly home to MG Cars, the clubhouse boasts stunning 5-metre high ceilings and glass walls which allow the natural light to flood in. The interiors are modelled on the Hotel Costes in Paris, with swathes of lush deep red and rich blue accentuated by gorgeous wood and glass details.
Step inside, cast your eye around the lean, elegant interiors and it’s immediately apparent that this place means business. With a choice of great working spaces, meeting suites, the club offers the ideal space to concentrate and channel ideas, host business meetings, private functions, launches and entertain clients in an atmosphere that is both grand and supremely private.
The layout is entirely in keeping with CUB’s special focus, namely building entrepreneurial networks, bringing together people who have a vision of changing the world to make it a better place. In fact, rather than take a backseat and merely provide the setting, CUB will actually assist its members by providing a proactive networking service. Every month, the club’s networks team connects members who may find great value in meeting each other. When a member joins the club, they are assigned a relationship manager who suggests engagements and connections. This commitment is reflected in the CUB slogan: Connecting those who change the world.
There are currently around 500 members across the two locations; the average age is 35-50, with entrepreneurs from start-ups, established highgrowth companies and major investors – and a combined business expertise of over 1400 years. CUB’s membership board ensures that the club remains diverse and prevents rapid growth spikes in any one industry.
The ambitious aim of CUB when it opened its first clubhouse in Sydney in October 2015 was to be a private business club that connects influential business leaders. Two years to the day, a second CUB clubhouse opened in Melbourne on the top two floors of an art deco building in the city’s old commercial district, not far from the neo-gothic cathedral. The interior style here is slightly different; the emphasis is on conservative luxury, with royal blue, brass columns and mahogany. The crowning glory of the clubhouse is a rooftop terrace, which is an ideal place for a post-work drink or an informal meeting with clients.
The two clubhouses share a venue manager, sommelier Nicolas Ajmone from the south of France, who has carefully selected choice wines from Australia and the world’s finest vineyards. The Melbourne club doesn’t have a full kitchen, but it serves cold platters and pre-ordered menus. Sydney, on the other hand, serves a comprehensive breakfast and lunch menu, plus afternoon tea and snacks. All dietary needs are catered for, and – in keeping with the burgeoning health trend in Sydney in particular – the menu features fresh juices with special add-ons like wheat grass, Siberian ginseng or vitamin C powder.
Both clubhouses host a variety of events, such as the monthly Warm Welcome evenings where the existing members welcome new additions, cigar and whisky tastings, super yacht cruises on Sydney harbour, and cocktail master classes.
CUB members and members of affiliated clubs can also book sections of the clubhouses for company events. In fact, Mullane’s favourite place in the Sydney clubhouse is the executive entertaining lounge; “It’s truly second to none – with natural light and the 5.5-metre high ceilings, it really has the wow factor.”
Members and reciprocal club members enjoy preferential rates at Spicers Retreat and the Larmont Hotel, which is only a few steps away.
CUB’s success has been so great that the directors will be opening a third club later this year in Brisbane, and there are plans to expand outside of Australia within the next few years. CUB’s ultimate vision is to become one of the world’s most influential business clubs – and they look to be right on track!