UBS Clean Energy Infrastructure Switzerland – the first investment solution for renewable energies and energy infrastructure in Switzerland launches with approximately CHF 250 million
Zurich/Basel, 16 January 2013 – UBS Global Asset Management, together with its partners Fontavis and Schweizerische Mobiliar, is launching a trendsetting investment solution. UBS Clean Energy Infrastructure Switzerland offers institutional investors unprecedented access to a diversified portfolio of Swiss infrastructure facilities and companies in the field of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
Future energy market as an opportunity for institutional investors in Switzerland
Switzerland is faced with major energy challenges. The “energy transition” will result in strong investment needs in the coming years. New and long-term financing models are required to expand investment in renewable energy, upgrade grid infrastructure and improve energy efficiency.
Pension funds, insurance companies and other institutional investors in Switzerland are also facing challenges; although 2012 brought welcome profits, interest rates remain at historic lows, equities continue to be volatile and prone to setbacks, while Swiss real estate investments are relatively expensive. "Many institutional investors in Switzerland are having difficulties generating the appropriate risk-adjusted returns needed," explains Beat Götz, head of Institutional Business, UBS Global Asset Management Switzerland.
By launching UBS Clean Energy Infrastructure Switzerland, UBS Global Asset Management is fulfilling a key need of institutional investors. For the first time, they can conveniently invest in projects and non-listed companies involved in energy supply (including biomass energy, hydropower, solar thermal energy and solar power), energy efficiency and supply infrastructure. "The potential for solid returns and stable cash flows with manageable risks is attractive," says Götz. What is more, pension funds in recent years have repeatedly expressed the desire to make investments, which, apart from generating yield, will also demonstrate their responsibility as investors in and for Switzerland.
Trendsetting investment solution
UBS Clean Energy Infrastructure Switzerland is a limited partnership for collective capital investments under the Swiss Collective Investment Act (KAG). "We have opted for a closed fund structure under Swiss law supervised by FINMA. It is tailored to long-term oriented, qualified investors, with investments in non-listed companies and infrastructure facilities," says Stefano Tritella, CEO of UBS Clean Energy Infrastructure Switzerland AG. The investment solution is unique in the Swiss market, he emphasizes, because it builds bridges between institutional investors looking for sustainable returns, and energy providers, grid operators and other market participants in the Swiss energy sector. These market participants are faced with high investment costs for upgrading and expansion and are therefore interested in equity or equity-like funds for their development.
Partnership with established specialists
UBS Global Asset Management developed the new investment concept with selected partners especially for the Swiss market. It is responsible for client support and running the investment structure. To this end, UBS Clean Energy Infrastructure Switzerland AG was established in Basel as a dedicated company acting as general partner.
For the Swiss market, UBS has entered into a long-term partnership with Fontavis AG. Fontavis is an independent investment advisor and asset manager based in Baar, which focuses on sustainable investments in non-listed companies in the field of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy infrastructure in Switzerland. "UBS, Schweizerische Mobiliar and Fontavis complement one another well" explains Thomas Schmid, founding partner and chairman of the management of Fontavis AG. "As an investment advisor of UBS Clean Energy Infrastructure Switzerland AG, Fontavis adds its special know-how and broad network to the partnership, evaluates investment options and manages the investments. For energy suppliers and project promoters, we are a long-term, reliable partner without any primary interest in the energy exploitation rights."
Schweizerische Mobiliar complements this partnership and acts as lead investor with a substantial investment amount. It also supports Fontavis with its own engineers who specialize in power and heating plants in providing risk assessments and insurance analysis for potential target companies. It also offers such companies its services as an insurance partner.
Broad interest and healthy subscription volumes
There is strong interest in tangible, real asset investments that have potential for stable returns in Swiss francs and that have a low correlation with traditional investment classes. By the first closing date for subscriptions on 31 December 2012, capital commitments had reached some CHF 250 million. Among the 18 institutional investors who subscribed are private and public pension funds and insurance companies. The fund will be open for further closings in 2013.
Further information is available at: www.ubs.com/ceis
Annex 1 – brief information on the partners involved
UBS AG has managed private, institutional and corporate clients around the world as well as retail clients in Switzerland for 150 years. Its business strategy focuses on its strong position as a global wealth manager as well as universal bank in Switzerland. Based on its client-focused investment bank and its solid, well-diversified global asset management, it will expand its excellent market position in wealth management and drive growth across the Group.
UBS has branches in more than 50 countries and in all key financial centers in the world. UBS employs approximately 64,000 people around the world.
UBS Clean Energy Infrastructure Switzerland AG is a company limited by shares based in Basel. As a general partner, the company is the sole member of UBS Clean Energy Infrastructure Switzerland with unlimited liability. UBS Clean Energy Infrastructure Switzerland is a limited partnership for collective capital investments. Its purpose is to structure, establish, manage and advise companies and collective capital investments, in particular in the area of renewable energies, energy efficiency and energy infrastructure as well as related areas.
Fontavis AG is an independent investment advisor and asset manager based in Baar, which specializes in capital investments in clean energy and infrastructure in Switzerland. Investments are made in non-listed companies and plants that produce renewable energy, improve energy efficiency or provide energy infrastructure. Fontavis provides Swiss companies with capital support and as well as expertise and commitment in their commercial development. The founding partners of Fontavis have more than 60 years of combined experience in renewable energy, asset management and finance and have been involved in the implementation of more than 400 projects with a total transaction volume of more than CHF 1 billion. www.fontavis.ch
Schweizerische Mobiliar is an all-sector insurer with a premium volume of CHF 3.2 billion. Its eighty general agencies and own claims service guarantee proximity to the company’s 1.5 million clients. Schweizerische Mobiliar Versicherungsgesellschaft AG is domiciled in Berne and Schweizerische Mobiliar Lebensversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG in Nyon. Mobiliar employs 4,100 people and trains 300 apprentices in its home markets of Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. It is the oldest private insurance company in the country and has been a registered cooperative since its establishment in 1826. www.mobi.ch