ITALY – Inarcassa, the €2.7bn association for self-employed engineers and architects, said its European equity portfolio outperformed its benchmark by 5.63% in 2004.

“The in-house management of Inarcassa Azionario Europa has ended 2004 with the result +15.57% which is +5.63% compared to the benchmark,” Paolo Tosi, the fund’s chief investment officer, told IPE. The assets are 80% benchmarked against the DJ Eurostoxx Price Index and 20% to the MSCI Europe ex-EMU.

Tosi and manager Riccardo Gandini are in charge of the European equity portfolio worth €192m. Inarcassa invests a total of €340m in equities, Tosi said.

The result for the European equity portfolio, Tosi emphasised, is the latest in a series of good news for the portfolio.

“This portfolio has had the best return among Inarcassa’s portfolio’s for the sixth consecutive year,” he said, adding that the total 2004 return available in February.

He said in a debate organised by IPE in 2003 that internal managers were best suited to manage the core investments such as European equities and bonds.

“We are the only ones who personally know our liabilities. We are the only ones who know the needs of our associates, so we can balance and re-balance the asset allocation for the medium term,” he said then.

Inarcassa, which was founded in 1961 as a public body to provide for social assistance to engineers and architects and was privatised in 1995, named Alfio Di Grazia as general manager in September.

Its asset allocation at the end of 2004 was as follows: cash (8%), real estate (29%), bonds (38%), equities (13%) and alternatives (12%).