Key to pan-European infrastructure fund strategy
The key to Marguerite’s unique approach is its investors and an independent highly qualified team. Marguerite is backed by the European Investment Bank, the EU bank, and five national promotional banks—institutions that carry out financial and development work on behalf of a country. These banks aim to support the policy goals of their governments, just as the European Investment Bank works to promote EU policy goals.
Infrastructure, particularly at an early stage of development, is a vital need, but doesn’t always find sufficient investment. That’s why the national promotional banks joined the European Investment Bank to create Marguerite. For Marguerite Fund II, the national promotional banks that have invested are:
Even though the national promotional banks each put €100 million into the fund, there is no obligation for Marguerite to invest in the countries represented by these banks. The fund can back projects all over EU.
“As an equity fund, it’s truly special,” says Barbara Boos, head of infrastructure funds at the European Investment Bank. “It’s a visionary project.”
The Investment Plan for Europe steps in
Marguerite I launched in 2010, right after the financial crisis. At that time, investors were reluctant to put their money into greenfield infrastructure. But the €710 million fund was a success, with investments around Europe from German offshore wind farms to French broadband.
By the time the European Investment Bank and the national promotional banks started to put together Marguerite II, the European economy had changed and a different market gap need to be filled. There was now plenty of money looking for mature infrastructure investments. But new infrastructure—known as “greenfield” projects—in certain sectors and locations was still seen as too risky. So the banks set Marguerite II’s sights on just that.