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ANZ invests $50m in Pollination to form new ‘strategic partnership’

Pollination founding partner Martijn Wilder says the ANZ investment ‘validates the business model’ and will turbocharge the firm’s next stage of growth.

Climate finance adviser and asset manager Pollination has formed a strategic partnership with Australian bank ANZ, with the latter investing $50 million in the business for a minority equity stake of approximately 12 percent.

Pollination founding partner Martijn Wilder told affiliate title Agri Investor the investment formed the cornerstone of a planned $100 million Series B fundraising round, with several more investors currently in a data room for the remaining $50 million.

As well as the equity stake, ANZ will gain a seat on Pollination’s board, with the two firms planning to sign a memorandum of understanding that will set out how the businesses can work together and complement each other’s existing skillsets.

Wilder said that Pollination had been growing fast since it launched two years ago and the ANZ commitment, alongside the rest of the Series B fundraising, would help take the firm to the next level.

“Having a significant financial institution [as a shareholder] in the business validates the business model and everything we are doing. ANZ views this as a good investment for them, but it allows us to work together and use our strengths to help their customers and clients to transition to net zero,” he said.

“Companies are really now starting to look at how to transition to net zero, and not only can we help our clients do that, but with ANZ we can bring finance along as well.”

ANZ is also interested in building expertise in carbon markets, which is an area of speciality for Pollination, Wilder said.

ANZ’s client base and exposure in the Asia-Pacific region was also attractive to Pollination when agreeing to form the strategic partnership, Wilder said.

Commenting on the partnership, ANZ group executive institutional Mark Whelan said: “We’re pleased to be partnering with a team that has strong climate finance and investment expertise, deep relationships and commercial momentum. These credentials, combined with ANZ’s long-standing leadership position in sustainable finance and debt capital markets, will bring significant opportunities for our customers.

“This partnership also underpins ANZ’s strategy to support customers in the transition to net zero, while helping cement our position as a leading environmental sustainability bank in the region.”

Pollination launched a joint venture in 2020 known as Climate Asset Management with another bank, HSBC, which is a fund manager with ambitions of raising $1 billion to invest in areas including forestry, regenerative and sustainable agriculture, water supply, nature-based biofuels and natural ecosystems capable of storing carbon.

Wilder was unable to comment on fundraising progress at CAM, but the fund manager’s CIO for natural capital strategy Ben O’Donnell recently told Agri Investor the LP investor base is waking up to the need to ensure “capital is being used not just to get exposure to land and that macro farmland story, but also to make sure the outcomes being derived from that landscape are ones that are good for the broader environment”.