ITALY – The €25m Italian railways workers’ pension fund, Eurofer, is looking to appoint an administration and accounting services provider ahead of issuing a full RFP for the investment management of its assets.

The contract for the administration of the fund will run for between three to five years and a shortlist of candidates will be drawn up in the next ten days.

The fund was expected to look for investment managers earlier this year once it had received regulatory approval from the Italian pensions supervisory body, Covip. However, as this was deferred until recently, Eurofer is only now ready to move forward.

“The approval has now been granted, so we can proceed with getting the fund up and running. We need to have the administration and accounting services set up before we can move on to selecting asset managers,” says a spokesman for the Rome-based fund.

Eurofer, like many other new Italian industry-wide pension funds, is starting life with a small asset base and relatively few members. However, this is expected to rise as the pension fund industry takes off there.

“We have some 25,000 members at the moment but expect that to double at least in the next five years. Our assets are also expected to increase quite sharply and any service provider, be it for administration or investment management, will need to be able to handle this growth,” the spokesman says.