17 Apr 2019

Financing the Earth’s Natural Infrastructure

For more than 25 years, Pat Coady (MBA 1966) has searched for innovative ways to invest in improving the environment.


Decades in investment banking and a lifelong love of the outdoors set Pat Coady (MBA 1966) on the path toward conservation financing. What was a small sector in the early 1990s, when he led the US delegation for the creation and implementation of the Global Environmental Facility, is now rapidly growing.

Coady’s work has included projects involving lemurs in Madagascar; the Kayapo indigenous people who control millions of hectares in Para State, Brazil; a 400-nest site of blue herons on the Potomac River; and the prairies west of Houston, where Coady is currently working to create a “sponge tax” to mitigate the environmental impact of development through investment in conserving water-absorbing grasslands. Now the senior director of financing land conservation at investment bank Seale & Associates, he is proudest of his years-long effort “to seek out financial innovation and bring institutional investors to fill the funding needs.”

Since 2014, Coady has worked with groups like Credit Suisse to convene an invitation-only conference of investors to identify investable, repeatable, scalable and, therefore, financeable, projects in conservation finance. Next up for Coady is a focus on shepherding the most promising of these bright ideas through to implementation. “There’s so much more we can do,” he says.

(Published April 2019)

Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1966, Section G

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