Climate advisory and investment firm Pollination has opened an office in Singapore, appointing two managing directors to run the new operation.
The London-headquartered firm, which was founded by former Baker & McKenzie lawyer Martijn Wilder and investment banker Tony O’Sullivan in 2019, offers a combination of decarbonisation advisory services and climate solutions investing. The firm has US$650 million in assets under management through a partnership with HSBC Bank.
Pollination’s clients have included the likes of Asian Development Bank, New Zealand dairy company A2 and mining firm BHP. The firm launches in Singapore off the back of relationships with existing clients it has worked with in Asia Pacific, including in India, Malaysia and Australia.
The Singapore office will be led locally by Temasek sustainability executive Heng Dean Law and former Boston Consulting Group partner Diego de Sartiges, who joins from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx).
Law led the development of Temasek’s GenZero decarbonisation and carbon markets platform, and also helped the investment platform company drive investment strategy with a focus on nature-based solutions. De Sartiges was HKEx’s senior vice president of sustainable and green finance.
Decarbonisation is now front and centre of the corporate agenda.
Heng Dean Law, co-managing director, Pollination Singapore
On entering a competitive market – all of the big four professional services firms offer sustainability practices in Singapore and numerous sustainability “centres of excellence” have opened in the city-state in recent years – de Sartiges said “the market is big enough for everyone – and we are going where the business is.”
“Our purpose is to accelerate the [green] transition. I think there’s enough demand in the market for our services. We feel we can add value as our business model is slightly different. We are not only doing advisory or climate investment, we are combining all of these services, including project development,” he said.
Pollination launches in Singapore as corporations grapple with increasing pressure from regulators to decarbonise, such as mandatory climate reporting for listed and large non-listed companies, and growing demand from consumers for more sustainable brands, said Law.
“Companies’ customers are increasingly telling them that climate and nature matter. The same goes for banks. I think companies in Asia are increasingly seeing a combination of all these factors at once,” he told Eco-Business.
Three years ago, the decarbonisation agenda could be dismissed as fringe, but now it is “front and centre of the corporate agenda” in Asia, said Law.
In a fossil fuel-dependent region, decarbonisation is not easy for Asian corporations, but they should at least be looking to measure their climate and nature exposure so they can work out the right decarbonisation pathway, he said.
“It has become increasingly untenable for companies to stick their heads in the sand [and ignore the decarbonisation mandate],” Law said.
Pollination has offices in Sydney, New York, Chicago and Paris, as well as London and Singapore.
The firm has 250 staff globally. Its management team includes Patrick Suckling, former Australia’s environment ambassador. Its advisory team includes James Cameron, founder of green investment bank Climate Capital, and Christof Kutscher, chairman of AXA Investment Managers.
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