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Ernst Russ AG and the Ecofin Group establish Elbe Financial Solutions

EFS Holding S.A. is an international investment services firm focused on the maritime and infrastructure sectors, and also holds a Hamburg based operating subsidiary named EFS Elbe Financial Solutions GmbH.

  • Balance sheet solutions for ship financing industry in general
  • Development and launch of investment products targeted to shipping loans and assets
  • Similar approach to infrastructure and energy related investments
  • Offices in Luxembourg and Hamburg

Luxembourg/Hamburg, 12 June 2017 – The maritime asset management firm Ernst Russ AG based in Hamburg and the specialist investment group Ecofin Holdings Limited (Jersey) are pooling their expertise in a new company called Elbe Financial Solutions (EFS), bringing banks and investors together.

“While banks want to significantly reduce the volume of their shipping loans, an increasing number of experienced investors are expressing an interest in acquiring such loans,” says Bernard Lambilliotte, Co-Founder of Ecofin Holdings Limited (Jersey) and Vice Chairman of Ecofin Ltd. (London), describing EFS’s target groups. One of the firm´s main objectives will be to enable banks to outsource their exposures to shipping loans, thereby providing balance sheet relief. EFS will assist institutional investors and specialised investment funds in gaining exposure to such loan portfolios. EFS will also supply solutions to loan administration and to operational requirements from the underlying ship assets. A structured finance approach will be adopted for the acquisition of such distressed receivables (via funds regulated in Luxembourg, for example) and will offer investors a familiar and proven approach. Ecofin Group´s past experience in structuring such investments in the energy and infrastructure sectors will contribute to EFS investment process.

Similarly Ernst Russ AG will contribute to the EFS´ operations its expertise of ship management and administration. Importantly, this will include in depth knowledge of due diligence processes on shipping assets and chartering strategy.

This joint venture therefore brings together the expertise of a maritime asset management firm and of a globally networked investment group to offer a comprehensive portfolio of services. “The significant changes in the maritime sector call for more far-reaching solutions,” says Jens Mahnke, CEO of Ernst Russ AG, adding that EFS would optimally serve the changing needs of banks, institutional investors and specialised funds, and would tap new markets that offer promising opportunities on behalf of its partners.

EFS has become operational in May of this year. It is currently staffed with a team of experts contributed by Ernst Russ and Ecofin Holdings and is in a recruiting phase.

About the Ernst Russ Group: The Group is a listed asset management company with a focus on maritime activities. It oversees a fleet of approximately 180 container ships, tankers and bulk carriers, which it actively manages or are managed as shipping funds by partner companies. The Ernst Russ Group also provides fiduciary services, operates a licensed investment management company and structures and launches alternative investment funds (AIFs). The Ernst Russ Group currently manages investments of around EUR 6.5 billion, primarily in the areas of shipping, property and renewable energy. The company has offices in Hamburg, Bremen, Düsseldorf and London.

About Ecofin Holdings Limited (Jersey): Established in Jersey 25 years ago as an independent management group with the purpose of developing fund management products within the infrastructure and energy sectors. It grew internationally with offices in Jersey, London, Geneva, Hongkong and New York and managed funds up to USD 5.5 billion over time within specific structures from investment trust to hedge funds and institutional managed accounts. Today the Ecofin Group is mostly involved in energy efficiency and infrastructure related strategie for a total amount USD 1.0 billion, concentrated around Ecofin Ltd in London.

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