ITALY - Italian pension fund Inarcassa - which has switched from a "traditional" asset allocation to a more diversified one - is looking to increase investment in emerging market and "extra-European" equities.

Speaking at the IPE Awards Seminar in Brussels yesterday, Alfredo Granata, chief investment officer at Inarcassa, said the scheme's asset allocation was mainly directed toward equities and bonds five years ago, but that the 2008 financial turmoil had forced the scheme to review its strategy.

"We are seeking to diversify our portfolio both geographically and sector-wise by adopting a top-down approach," he said.

"We are now looking to increase our allocation to equities significantly by looking at emerging market and extra-European instruments."

Inarcassa, which currently allocates between 17-22% to equities, will increase its allocation to equities over the "normal average", Granata added.

Earlier this week, the Italian pension fund Fondenergia said it was seeking to diversify its fixed income portfolio by focusing on inflation-linked bonds and its global portfolio by targeting investments in alternative asset classes such as emerging markets, real estate, infrastructure and private equity.

However, Alessandro Stori, general manager of Fondenergia, conceded that the change in regulation in Italy and the implementation of new reforms expected for 2013 might impact its strategy.
He said: "The future around the new measures remains blurred. In that context, it is still difficult to set a proper allocation strategy, and we might need to wait until the new regulation finally gets implemented."