Lead manager of the year, sustainability bonds – SSA: BMO

Channels: Green Bonds

Companies: World Bank, IBRD, BMO, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

People: Kelsey Gunderson

BMO Capital Markets acted as joint lead manager for the World Bank's two Canadian dollar-denominated sustainable development bonds in 2018, each raising CAD1 billion ($745 million).

The first bond was the World Bank's inaugural sustainable development benchmark bond highlighting gender equality.

It was launched in January and offered a coupon of 2.25%. The bond was comfortably oversubscribed, with more than 40 investors from Canada (55%), Europe and Middle East (24%), Asia (11%), and the US (10%) placing orders for more than CAD1.2 billion.

The bond was issued to raise awareness of the empowerment of women and girls as one of the most effective ways to accelerate economic development, reduce poverty and build sustainable societies. It finances projects and programmes around the world that contribute towards meeting some of the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDG).

BMO also worked on the World Bank's second sustainable development bond supporting the health and nutrition of women, adolescents and children.

Kelsey Gunderson, head of global trading products, BMOKelsey Gunderson, head of global trading products at BMO, says: "BMO is proud to be partnering with the World Bank to raise awareness and inspire global change through this bond offering. As a recognised leader among global financial institutions for gender equality, BMO shares the ambition of the World Bank and Canada to make meaningful progress on efforts to promote gender equality and the advancement of women."

BMO has pledged to lend $3 billion to companies led by women entrepreneurs.

The SDGs inform BMO's sustainability strategy, particularly regarding emerging opportunities in sustainable finance and disclosure, which is reflected in its 2018 environmental, social and governance (ESG) report.

BMO also holds an Annual Women in Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities (FICC) Industry Forum in Toronto, supporting gender equality.