Generali Investments, the asset management unit of the Italian insurer, has taken over Conning, an asset manager for insurance and institutional clients owned by Cathay Life, a subsidiary of Cathay Financial Holdings, an Asia-based financial institution.

With the acquisition, Generali plans to expand its asset management business, benefiting from Conning’s insurance and institutional client base in the US and in Asia, it announced.

It will also leverage Conning’s investment capabilities and distribution channels to scale up its third-party business, Generali added.

The acquisition includes Conning’s insurance and institutional fixed-income business, Octagon Credit Investors (bank loans, CLOs and specialty credit), Global Evolution (emerging markets debt), and Pearlmark (debt and equity real estate), the insurer said.

Conning’s assets under management (AUM) of approximately $157bn will bring Generali Group’s total AUM to $845bn. Generali Asset Management will have total assets worth $709b, investing in fixed income, structured and corporate credit, emerging market debt and private real estate.

As a result of the transaction, Cathay Life will become a minority shareholder (16.75%) of Generali Investments Holding (GIH), signing a comprehensive partnership with the insurer to support the strategic growth of Generali Asset Management globally, it said.

Philippe Donnet, chief executive officer of Generali Group, said: “Through the acquisition of Conning and the long-term partnership with Cathay Life, we will enhance our asset management capabilities, strengthen our footprint in key US and Asian markets, and create a platform to deliver on our broader asset management strategic ambitions in order to maximise value for all stakeholders, including Generali’s insurance business.”

Carlo Trabattoni, Generali’s CEO for asset and wealth management, added: “This deal drives sustainable value creation for both companies and third-party clients based on the strong complementarity between Generali Asset Management and Conning. It reinforces our ambitions and positioning as a leading global provider of diversified investments solutions, with further skills for insurers and institutional clients.”

Women are still underrepresented in first-pillar schemes

The share of women that are members of first-pillar pension funds in Italy (Casse di Previdenza) stood at 44%, against 56% for men, according to a report published by Adepp, the country’s association of private pension funds.

The first-pillar schemes with the largest share of women are the pension scheme for psychologists Enpap (84%), the first-pillar scheme for Italian biologists Enpab (74%), and Enpapi, the cassa di previdenza for nurses (71%), according to the report.

Only in four schemes, out of 16 analysed in the report, were women the majority of members: the pension fund for workers in the agricultural sector Enpaia, Enpap, Enpapi, and the pension fund for vets Enpav, the report added.

Women under the age of 30, undertaking a professional career in Italy, receive an income that is 20% lower than the wage of men, Adepp’s report disclosed. The number of women that have started a professional career has, however, increased from 30% to 42% during the period 2007-21, it added.

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