NAB has had a long relationship with TCorp, and is a key member of the panel of banks that distribute TCorp’s bonds to investors. Over three years ago, Jenkins approached Palmer with the idea of issuing a TCorp green bond. Back then, the market was in its infancy, and he has worked closely with Trigona and Palmer, providing updates on the development of the market, and keeping them abreast of market opportunities.
“TCorp valued David's knowledge in this area and he assisted us in our decision-making throughout the project,” says Trigona.
“We also wanted to make sure that the program really was one that set us up for the future and having David's experience across green, social and sustainability bonds was incredibly supportive of our decision to proceed with a sustainability bond program.”
After TCorp drafted the program, Jenkins provided feedback on the draft based on his knowledge of market standards and frameworks. When TCorp was ready to go ahead with a green bond issue, it appointed NAB as sustainability structuring advisor and arranger, and as joint lead manager for the transaction, after a formal request for proposal (RFP) process.
“NAB has been specialising in this space for some time and has a high level of expertise. They have been appointed as structuring advisor on a number of significant deals that have been launched in the Australian market, so we were really pleased to work with NAB on this deal,” says Palmer.
Jenkins provided advice on launching the deal to investors and introduced Palmer and Trigona to several new investors in the ESG space. “He gave us a lot of clarity on who the investors were, and how we should approach them in terms of the information that we were presenting,” says Trigona.
A more sustainable future
For NAB the deal was another opportunity to help a client achieve its business goals while also addressing key societal and environmental challenges. “There’s a strong desire at NAB to support our customers and Australia in moving forward as we transition to a low-carbon environment globally,” says Jenkins.
For the New South Wales government, the sustainability bond program showcases the work the state is doing to address environmental and social issues and transition to a more climate resilient economy, and provides a mechanism for capital to flow more directly to projects which deliver positive environmental and social outcomes.
“For me the most satisfying thing about being involved in this deal was being able to make a difference, being able to work on a use-of-proceeds bond where we could actually match up for the investors where their money was going to, what is the impact of that investment, and what are the outcomes from an environmental and social perspective,” says Palmer.
Trigona says the deal has achieved its key objective of ensuring the long term viability of TCorp’s overall funding strategy. “We do feel now that we have made the program more sustainable in terms of diversification of the investor base. That means there are different types of investors that might be attracted to the TCorp funding model and therefore will be able to support our funding going forward. We are very, very pleased with the outcome.”