ITALY – The Italian cement and building materials workers’ complementary pension fund, Concreto, is ready to enter the second stage of its manager selection process.

The fund, which currently has just under 5,000 members from a possible total of 11,000, says that it has shortlisted six asset management firms that it will invite to give detailed presentations before it will take a final decision on two firms to manage €17m.

The fund has decided to start operations with a single portfolio comprising 25% equities and 75% fixed income. “We know this is a safe asset allocation strategy to adopt, but we are a young and small fund and just finding our feet,” says a spokesman. The two successful candidates will manage equal mandates for a three year period, when an investment review will be conducted.

This is the latest in a series of sector-wide pension funds in Italy that have gained authorisation from the supervisory body, Covip, to go ahead and select managers and begin investing their assets.