Juno Mother Earth Preps Energy Fund

Sep 30 2006 | 8:40am ET

Juno Mother Earth Asset Management is readying to launch its first hedge fund, the Juno Mother Earth Resources Fund, with $50 million to $100 million in assets under management. The new vehicle, which is set to debut on Oct. 1, will invest 80% of its assets in commodities and 20% in energy-sector equities, especially alternative energy names.

“There is a need for alternative sources of energy and it has to happen now,” explains Juno Mother Earth co-founder Joseph Di Virgilio. “We’re not taking a green stand; we still believe there’s a lot of money to be made in oil, gas, coal, etc. But we also think we should be looking into other sources of fuel.”

New York-based Juno Mother Earth is the brainchild of Roland Jansen, the man behind Switzerland-based Mother Earth Investments and the creator of ABN Amro’s investable commodity index. Jansen and Di Virgilio are joined as co-founders and managing members by risk management chief Arturo Rodriguez, and marketing head Eugenio Verzili.

Di Virgilio expects the fund to attract $500 million in its first  year, and the firm has set a soft- close target of between $800 million and $1 billion, though he says the fund could grow as large as  $3 billion.

A visit to the firm’s Web site provides a concise mission statement for the firm’s offering: “We believe that the biggest issue of the 21st century is being neglected: It is about the state of Mother Earth and investing in one of the biggest ‘themes’ in the coming years.”

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