Press Releases

Canada's first global clean energy fund launched by Criterion

Individual Canadian investors now have the opportunity to access a diversified portfolio of companies connected to the global shift to cleaner energies and lower carbon emissions.

TORONTO, September 10, 2007 – Criterion Investments Limited (“Criterion”) today announced the launch of Criterion Global Clean Energy Fund – Canada’s first global clean energy fund.

Demand for energy continues to accelerate as the world urbanizes and industrializes, with an investment of $800 billion per year required to keep pace*. However, fossil fuels like oil and coal are finite and major greenhouse gas contributors.

In this changing global climate, political powers, companies and individuals are all striving to reduce carbon emissions by adopting cleaner energy solutions and becoming more energy efficient.

The Fund will invest in equity securities of the leading companies at each stage of the transition to cleaner energy. The companies targeted will include:

  • Firms in the fields of resources, technology & equipment, infrastructure and energy efficiency that contribute to or benefit from the transition to less carbon-intensive energy, and
  • Firms that focus on carbon-free energy (such as solar, wind and hydroelectric); low-carbon energy (such as natural gas and biofuels); and energy efficiency (such as power monitoring and controls and batteries).

“The drive for clean energy is a global theme that’s here to stay, offering a powerful investment opportunity for Canadian financial advisors and their clients,” said Ian McPherson, President of Criterion. “Investors now have the opportunity to capitalize on the global wake-up call to reduce carbon emissions.”

The investment advisor for the Fund is Geneva-based Pictet Asset Management SA (“Pictet”), an eminent European investment firm with $120 billion under management. The 200-year-old firm has established itself as a leading manager of thematic funds based on global mega-trends. Pictet’s own clean energy fund has over US$500 million in assets. Criterion already has an established relationship with Pictet, the sub advisor for Criterion Water Infrastructure Fund.

Factors that are fueling the transition to clean energy include:

  • Supply – Supplies of fossil fuels like oil and gas are finite and will struggle to keep pace as the worldwide population grows more urban and increases its energy consumption; traditional energy suppliers are rapidly adopting clean energy solutions to keep up with demand
  • Mounting Demand – Consumers and companies alike are striving to be more energy efficient in many ways; over the next decade the global spend on clean energy is estimated to quadruple to US$226 billion per year**
  • Energy Independence – Worries are intensifying about the global energy supply; many key economies rely on imported energy and many major energy producers reside in unstable regions
  • Legislative Environment – Political powers are waking up to the urgent call to act on climate change and promote clean energy; by 2020 the EU plans to derive 20% of its total energy consumption from renewable resources

“Every country in the world is being forced to come to terms with energy-related challenges related to lower carbon emissions, balancing supply versus demand and securing independent energy supply,” said Philippe de Weck, Senior Fund Manager at Pictet. “As a result, we believe the clean energy sector could see significant growth in earnings over the next three years.”

Criterion Global Clean Energy Fund offers investors access to specialized investment expertise, global diversification and significant growth potential. Available as both a currency-hedged and unhedged solution, the RRSP-eligible Fund will be accessible through licensed financial advisors in all Canadian provinces, with a minimum $500 investment.

About Criterion

Criterion is committed to creating insightful solutions for everyday Canadian investors, leveraging value-added investment features that are typically only available to large institutions and high-net worth individuals. Criterion combines unique investment structures with best-in-class asset managers or strategies to offer investors opportunities for access to exclusive asset classes, enhanced yield, tax efficiency and risk reduction. Criterion is an affiliate of VenGrowth Asset Management Inc., one of Canada’s premier managers of private equity and alternative investments with a proven track record of success since 1982.

About Pictet Asset Management

Pictet Asset Management (“PAM”) is the institutional investment arm of Pictet & Cie, one of Europe’s leading and longest established private banks, founded in 1805. PAM is one of the largest independent asset managers in Europe with $120 billion in assets under management. With 11 centres around the world, PAM enjoys global reach, extending from London, Geneva, Frankfurt, Paris, Madrid, Milan and Zurich to Tokyo, Hong-Kong, Singapore and Montreal. For more information, please visit www.pictetfunds.com.

Please read the prospectus of the Fund before investing. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Units of the fund are sold through registered dealers.

*Source: World Energy Council, May 2007
**Source: Clean Edge, Clean Energy Trends 2007