Australia’s NAB private banking in alliance with Israel's OurCrowd

Clients of National Australia Bank's private bank will get special access to venture capital raisings by global technology companies, with NAB and the Israeli equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd announcing a collaboration deal recently.

NAB joins United Overseas Bank of Singapore and Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank of Taiwan in assisting OurCrowd to distribute deals while also getting access to start-ups funded through the platform, one of the world's largest crowdfunding groups that has raised over $600 million for more than 120 early-stage companies.

The deal was announced during an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce's women leaders delegation in Israel, that was attended by NAB Private executive general manager Christine Yates.

"We have been asking how do Australian clients participate in global alternative asset classes for innovative start-ups. This deal is about democratisation of access to global deals and will create a space for clients to participate and learn globally, which should stimulate more investment locally," she said.

NAB's association with OurCrowd has already born fruit in terms of linking the bank to investments. The Canada-based cloud accounting software firm Wave, in which NAB led a $US24 million ($32 million) capital raising that was announced last week, was introduced to NAB by OurCrowd.

OurCrowd, which has created a network of more than 20,000 investors in 112 countries, entered the Australian market in 2014 and its global deals have been well supported by local investors.

NAB Private customers investing through the bank will pay the same fees as if they invested through the platform directly, but NAB will receive 20 per cent of those fees back from OurCrowd under the terms of the alliance. NAB customers will get access to popular deals which may be funded before they go onto the broader platform, and may receive priority allocations.

OurCrowd chief executive Jon Medved said the platform will be offering deals across a wide range of technologies, including machine learning, digital health, agtech, cyber-security, drones and robotics.

"If you wait to invest in a tech company when it goes public, you have waited too long," he said. "Uber is valued at $US70 billion but it is better to get in at $7 million. That goes for any unicorn. We want to allow investors other than limited partners like pension funds, banks and family offices to get in to fund both individual companies and products."

Other women in Israel last week for the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce delegation included its NSW chair Jillian Segal, Wesfarmers director Diane Smith-Gander and Crown director Helen Coonan.

Other big four banks have been tapping Israel for lessons on innovation. Commonwealth Bank of Australia signed an agreement with the chief scientist of Israel in 2015.

Other senior bankers are heading to Israel with the chamber later this year, including Macquarie Group CEO Nicholas Moore, who will lead a trade mission examining renewable energy and water technology in September; and ANZ Banking Group chairman David Gonski and CBA CEO Ian Narev, who will visit in early November.


Source:afr


Nick Kalikajaros 2017