ITALY - Fondo Cometa, Italy’s largest pension fund, has appointed nine managers for its €5.2bn portfolio, following a review of its investments.
This week the fund’s board completed the renewal of the five-year mandates for 100% of Cometa’s portfolio, consisting of sub-funds Monetario Plus, Reddito and Crescita.

Allianz Global Investor was appointed to manage a €670m active balanced global portfolio. Amundi will actively manage the fund’s €615m portfolio of global fixed income. Eurizon Capital SGR and Generali will manage another €570m each of fixed income.

State Street Global Advisors and Halbis (part of HSBC Global Asset Management) were selected for passive mandates, and each will manage €525m of the global balanced portfolio. State Street Global Advisors and UBS will also manage €445m each of Cometa’s balanced passive fixed income investments. Pioneer was selected for the passive management of €170m in global balanced investments.

Finally, Russell will manage Cometa’s €1.2bn currency risk exposure. UGF and Cattolica Assicurazioni had been confirmed earlier this year for Cometa’s guaranteed return sub-fund Sicurezza.

MangustaRisk helped Cometa in the process of reviewing the existing mandates and the selection of new managers, which saw 65 managers present their proposals. The existing mandates expired in April, but the selection process had begun as early as last autumn. (See earlier IPE article: MangustaRisk to conduct Fondo Cometa review)

Together with the fund’s treasurer BNP Paribas Securities Services, Mangusta will manage the transition to the new managers. Italian pension regulator Covip has to approve the appointments.

Fabio Ortolani, Cometa’s chairman, said the new appointments will save Cometa’s members €800,000 a year. He added: “During the selection process we kept in mind all the possible aspects: the organisational aspects, possible conflicts of interests, the management teams as well as issues of compliance with Italian regulation.”

Fondo Cometa, the fund for workers in the metals industry, has reached 470,000 members, and forecasts growth of €900m a year.

Ortolani, as recently reported by Italian newspapers, has declared a new strategy for the fund. Cometa aims to become an “activist” fund, investing 5% of its funds  - around €300m - in Italian blue chip companies. Ortolani told the Italian press that Cometa wants to make full use of its voting rights at shareholders’ meetings, following the examples of larger European pension funds.