UBS closes second Swiss clean energy fund on €432m

Like its predecessor, UBS-CEIS, the new fund is a joint initiative between UBS, Swiss asset manager Fontavis and insurer Swiss Mobiliar.

UBS Asset Management has reached a final close on its second Swiss clean energy fund on SFr472 million ($477 million; €432 million), two years after its launch.

More than 40 institutional investors, including public and private pension funds as well as insurance companies, have committed to UBS Clean Energy Infrastructure Switzerland 2, the asset manager said.

The new vehicle is the result of a joint initiative with Fontavis, an asset manager specialising in clean energy and infrastructure investments in Switzerland and Europe, and insurer Swiss Mobiliar. The three companies also partnered on UBS-CEIS, with Fontavis serving as investment advisor and Swiss Mobiliar becoming an anchor investor, with capital commitments of SFr250 million, according to a November 2013 statement. UBS-CEIS reached a final close on SFr396 million and has invested in 13 companies.

Fontavis will oversee portfolio management of UBS-CEIS 2 and be “responsible for all investment decisions”, according to UBS. “UBS manages multiple vehicles under different governance principles,” the firm said when asked why the UBS-CEIS fund series is managed by a third party.

“[We have a] strong established relationship with Fontavis based on the first fund, which provided a strong foundation for the successor fund.”

UBS-CEIS 2 will invest in companies and projects in the areas of energy production – including biomass, hydropower and solar energy – as well as in energy efficiency and supply infrastructure, the asset manager said. It will target mainly brownfield projects.

The fund has a 16-year lifespan and while it will primarily invest in Switzerland, it will have the flexibility to invest in Western Europe and Scandinavian countries, according to a UBS marketing document.

Swiss Mobiliar, which supports Fontavis with specialist engineers in performing risk assessments and insurance analyses, will provide insurance-related advisory services to UBS-CEIS 2.