Italian rail fund to begin manager search in March

ITALY – The Italian State Railways pension fund, Fondo Pensione Eurofer, will begin looking for managers for its €25m assets in March once it has received the regulatory approval from Covip, the Italian pension fund supervisory body.

Dr Sergio Slavec, the administrator for the Rome-based fund, says that he expects a response from Covip in February. “Once we have the authority to go ahead and look for asset managers, we anticipate being ready to do so in mid-March,” he says.

Contrary to other reports, Slavec says that no decision concerning asset allocation strategies has yet been taken. “What has been reported about bonds and equities and how we might split our assets between the two is not official information that we have put out. There have been no discussions about that yet.”

Slavec also says that the decision to look for external managers is not necessarily because the fund has outgrown its capacity to manage its assets inhouse. “We remain relatively small, the decision to outsource some of our management was taken purely and simply because we felt it was in the fund’s best interests to do so.”

Slavec believes that the fund will probably employ three or four managers for its assets and that for the time being there are no consultants involved, but that may change. “We may bring consultants on board once we have a clearer picture of where we are in terms of manager selection,” he says.

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