Italy’s second-pillar pension scheme for journalists has appointed six new asset managers for as many active and passive mandates, as it reshaped the structure of its DC funds, offering two new investment options.

From January next year, members of the €500m Fondo Pensione Complementare dei Giornalisti Italiani (FPCGI) will be able to choose between a ‘Prudente’ and a ‘Mix’ fund option, as well as the default ‘Garantito’ fund.

BlackRock Investment Management UK and Credit Suisse Italy have been appointed to passively manage a sovereign bond and a corporate portfolio, respectively, both part of the Prudente fund.

Intesa Sanpaolo was also awarded a passive equity portfolio within the Prudente fund.

Within the fund, AXA Investment Management was selected as the active manager for a ‘risk budget’ mandate.

The Mix fund will be managed by Amundi, which was awarded a passive bond mandate, and by Pictet & CIE, which obtained an active ‘risk-budget’ equity mandate.

The ‘Prudente’ fund invests up to 25% in equities, whereas the ‘Mix’ one can allocate up to 50% to the stock market.

The ‘Garantito’ default fund, managed by Italian insurer Cattolica Assicurazioni, guarantees a return equal to the annual appreciation of TFR (Trattamento di Fine Rapporto), the inflation-linked termination indemnity contribution set aside by employers.

FPGI said in a statement that, through the new appointments, it is pursuing “the optimisation of investments and costs” and “greater diversification of the portfolio”, and moving from an approach that was based on balanced mandates to one based on “active/passive strategies that are capable of adapting flexibly to market trends”.

The choice of appointing one manager for each mandate was made “to avoid concentration of risk levels”, added the statement.

Elsewhere in Italy, minibond fund Fondo Progetto MiniBond Italia, set up by investment manager Zenit, completed its first closing, receiving commitments from institutional investors to the tune of €30m.

The fund’s objective is to reach a size of €100m, and the deadline for subscription to the fund is July 2015.

But the company said it plans to begin investing around €15m over the next few months.

The fund added that 20 institutional investors including casse di previdenza, banks, insurance companies, foundations, family offices and asset managers were participating in the first phase of fundraising.

Last summer, asset manager Pioneer Investment launched a €200m minibond fund, and BNP Paribas Investment Partners Sgr raised €56m for a similar fund.

The market for minibonds funds, launched by Mario Monti’s government at the end of 2011 in a bid to stimulate lending to SEMs, now sees 30 such funds listed on the Extramot Pro segment of Borsa Italiana, the Milan Stock Exchange.