Climate change advisory Pollination attracts investment from ANZ

27 February 2022 3 min. read
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The ANZ banking group has picked up a minority stake in sustainability investment and consulting firm Pollination, with the complementary partnership to accelerate the firm’s net zero aspirations.

Specialist climate change investment and advisory Pollination has attracted a $50 million investment from the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) as part of its Series B round, with the strategic partnership aimed at supporting the bank’s institutional customers on their decarbonisation efforts in the transition to net-zero.

As part of the transaction, ANZ will gain an estimated 12% stake in Pollination and a seat on the consulting firm’s board.

Climate change advisory Pollination attracts investment from ANZ

Pollination was founded in 2019 by Tony O'Sullivan and Martijn Wilder, Baker & McKenzie’s former global lead for climate change law and sustainable finance, and has since grown to a team of 120 experts in more than a dozen countries, with offices in Sydney, London and Chicago. The firm said that ANZ’s investment will significantly accelerate its growth ambitions and extend Pollination’s impact and reach.

“Strategic partnerships are core to Pollination’s impact model – they extend our reach and scale far beyond what we could achieve alone,” commented Wilder. “ANZ has a strong track record of delivering innovative sustainable finance products. With a presence in fourteen markets across Asia, it has exceptional reach where investment in decarbonisation and nature is both critically important and a huge opportunity.”

With a service line that brings together expertise in strategic advisory, finance, investment, technology and policy & law, Pollination’s partnership with ANZ (which was advised by Ashurst on the deal and Pollination by Hamilton Locke and BDA) will focus on supporting the transition needs of ANZ customers in areas such as sustainable finance, project & export finance, carbon markets, and mergers & acquisitions advisory.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with a team that has strong climate finance and investment expertise, deep relationships and commercial momentum,” said Mark Whelan, ANZ Group Executive for Institutional, and former CEO for Australia. “These credentials, combined with ANZ’s long-standing leadership position in sustainable finance and debt capital markets, will bring significant opportunities for our customers.”

Speaking on the environmental investment landscape, Wilder and Whelan pointed to the $1.64 trillion in sustainable debt issuance last year, which was driven by a rise in sustainability-linked loans and bonds and more than doubled the 2020 figure. They also noted an International Energy Agency estimate that investment in clean energy will need to more than triple to around $4 trillion per year by 2030 for the world to reach net-zero by 2050.

“The scale and urgency of climate change is clear, yet despite trillions of dollars committed to climate change, the money isn’t flowing fast enough, nor to the right places,” Pollination co-founder O’Sullivan, a former head of investment banking for Lazard, said at the time of the firm’s launch, with Wilder adding; “The shift to net zero will be permanent. With courage and vision, we will revolutionise our economies.”