Pacific Life’s institutional business celebrates ESG Bond success



Formed in early 2020 to bring Pacific Life’s collection of products to the institutional space, including defined contribution lifetime income, stable value wrap, pension risk-transfer, and funding agreements, the institutional business recently celebrated its second anniversary. Posting more than $10.4 billion in sales and deposits in 2021, and 144 percent employee growth since 2020, the business enters its third year with significant momentum.

“We’re exceptionally pleased with the growth and performance of this team,” said Brian Woolfolk, executive vice president and head of the Institutional Division. “This group is laser-focused on ideation, innovation, and delivering creative solutions to our customers. Streamlining our products has allowed the business to maximize efficiencies, customize solutions, innovate, and provide world-class customer service.”

 The Institutional Division established Pacific Life as a leader in the ESG bond market with the introduction of its Sustainable Bond Framework. The framework enables the issuance of sustainable bonds through the organization’s Capital Markets Group. Shortly after, the business announced the issuance of an $800 million bond, the largest sustainability bond in the history of the U.S. financial industry at the time of issuance. The framework and issuance were achieved in less than eight weeks.

Sustainalytics, which provides high-quality, analytical environmental, social and governance (ESG) research, ratings and data to institutional investors and companies, has released its first annual review of the Pacific Life Sustainable Bond Framework and $800 million ESG bond issuance from April 2021.

Findings from the report include:

  • All proceeds of the $800M ESG bond issuance from April 2021 have been invested;
  • All projects reviewed complied with the use of proceeds and KPI criteria;
  • Use of proceeds allocation consists of 41 percent renewable energy, 51 percent green building and 8 percent affordable housing

“We strive to generate sustainable, long-term investment returns in a balanced, responsible manner,” said Pacific Life President and Chief Executive Officer Darryl Button. “With this in mind, we acknowledge the evolving materiality of ESG factors and are increasingly integrating them into our investment decision making. Investing responsibly ties to Pacific Life’s Core Values of accountability for our actions, integrity to do the right thing, and making a positive impact on our community.”

“This review is an affirmation of the commitment we made to investors while marketing the sustainability bond offering in April 2021,” said Joe Krum, vice president and managing director, Institutional Capital Markets Group at Pacific Life. “We are even more excited today about the future of this program and its ability to drive investments in support of the objectives outlined in our Sustainable Bond Framework. As a team, we are looking ahead and actively pursuing new ESG-related opportunities across global markets.”

One of Pacific Life’s goals is a continued focus and commitment to the principles of ESG and impact investing. In April 2021, Pacific Life introduced a Sustainable Bond Framework. Two weeks after introducing the Framework, the Capital Markets Group announced the issuance of an $800 million sustainability bond, the largest FA-backed sustainable bond issuance in financial industry history.


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