German maritime asset management firm Ernst Russ and investment group Ecofin Holdings are joining to form a new company called Elbe Financial Solutions (EFS), with the aim of bringing banks and investors together.
The new company’s main objective is to enable banks to outsource their exposures to shipping loans in order to provide balance sheet relief. EFS will assist institutional investors and specialised investment funds in gaining exposure to these loan portfolios, and supply solutions to loan administration as well as the operational requirements from the underlying ship assets.
Bernard Lambilliotte, co-founder of Ecofin, commented: “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.”
Ernst Russ will contribute its expertise of ship management and administration to the new company, including due diligence processes for both the shipping assets and chartering strategy.
Jens Mahnke, CEO of Ernst Russ, says 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 is already operational and is staffed with a team from both Ernst Russ and Ecofin Holdings, while also looking to recruit further staff.