Bank targets almost $4 billion for first two natural capital funds

Joint venture, which will operate independently, aims to create world’s largest natural capital manager

Bank targets almost $4 billion for first two natural capital funds

HSBC Global Asset Management Limited and Pollination Group Holdings Limited, the specialist climate change advisory and investment firm, have joined forces to establish HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management.

Subject to regulatory approval, the partnership aims to create the world’s largest natural capital manager and is the first large-scale venture to mainstream natural capital as an asset class.

Both firms will provide resources to the joint venture, which will operate independently. Through the creation of private funds, HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management will offer investors wide exposure to global natural capital themes in both emerging and developed markets. It will also provide stewardship and evaluation of the investments, enabling investors to quantitatively measure impact.

The proposed group of funds will aim to attract capital from institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and insurers into natural capital investments. The first fund, which aims to launch mid next year, will look to raise up to US$1 billion (CAD$1.3 billion) followed by a carbon credit fund at up to US$2 billion (CAD$2.6 billion).

HSBC intends to become a cornerstone investor in the first fund. The funds will invest in a diverse range of projects that will preserve, protect and enhance nature over the long term.

Sustainable investment in natural capital provides exposure to likes of sustainable forestry, regenerative and sustainable agriculture, water supply, blue carbon (carbon captured by oceans and coastal ecosystems), nature based bio-fuels, or nature based projects that generate returns from reducing greenhouse emissions.

Nicolas Moreau, Global CEO of HSBC Global Asset Management, said: “Clients are increasingly focused on environmental matters and this initiative is designed to help them achieve a financial return, while at the same time creating a positive impact on the world’s biodiversity, which will be felt for generations to come.

“Through solutions such as this, we’re helping clients achieve their long-term investment objectives, while meeting their increasing demand to actively contribute to a more sustainable world.”

Martijn Wilder, Co-founding Partner, Pollination, said that to reach the goals set in the Paris Agreement, the indutsry needs to originate and fund new approaches that protect nature, at scale.

He said: “In a global economy that is on a path to rapid decarbonisation, we regularly hear from investors and organisations looking for investment opportunities that will mitigate long-term climate risk. In natural capital, we’re accelerating investment in an asset class that can help combat climate change and build biodiversity, whilst also generating long-term returns for institutional investors. Investing in the resilience of nature is investing in the resilience of the economy. Nature is the most fertile investment we have.”