Byblos, the Italian second-pillar scheme for the paper, publishing and media industries, has invested €5m in the Supply Chain fund, a domestic direct lending and commercial credit fund run by Groupama Asset Management.

Earlier this year, Byblos announced it would invest €30m in private debt funds as part of its first foray into alternative investments. The €765m scheme appointed BGB Weston as adviser to assist it in the search for suitable private debt strategies.

Groupama’s Supply Chain Fund, which has raised €72m so far, focuses on short-term credit, mainly invoice finance. It targets a return of 200 basis points over Euribor, net of costs. Alifond, a €1.3bn second-pillar scheme for employees of the food industry, also invested €5m in the fund.

Prevedi appoints securities lending provider

Prevedi, the second-pillar pension scheme for employees in the construction industry, has awarded a securities lending mandate to BNP Paribas Securities Services.

The French firm already provides Prevedi with custody services, but the scheme decided to expand the current mandate to include securities lending.

Diego Ballarin, CEO of Prevedi, said: “BNP Paribas’ securities lending offering will help us optimise the financial management of the fund for the ultimate benefit of our participants.”

Prevedi, which reported assets under management of €590m at the end of last year, has recently seen a large influx of new members. The scheme was the first in Italy to implement ‘contractual enrolment’, a form of automatic enrolment. As a result, its membership increased rapidly from around 40,000 in 2015 to the current 643,000.

Construction trade union and employer associations agreed that all new employees in the sector would be automatically enrolled in the pension scheme.

New members will receive a small statutory contribution from employers but are not obliged to contribute as well. This was decided as part of a recent review of the sector’s collective labour contract.

Fiat scheme hires Willis Towers Watson for manager selection

Fondo Pensione Quadri e Capi Fiat, the €563m second-pillar scheme for white-collar employees of Fiat, has appointed Willis Towers Watson to assist with the selection of four managers for two of its balanced funds.

The scheme is offering five-year mandates for the two funds. For the largest of the two, a €413m balanced fixed income fund, the scheme is selecting three active managers with general multi-asset capabilities. For the second fund, a €65m equity fund, the scheme is searching for one manager.

Journalists’ fund seeks risk manager

Elsewhere INPGI, the €2.4bn first-pillar pension scheme for Italian journalists, is searching for a risk management advisor and a depositary bank.

The scheme is offering five-year mandates for both activities. The provisional value of the two contracts is €800,000 and €1.4m plus VAT.

Interested parties have until 1pm on 13 August to present their credentials for the risk management mandate and until 1pm on 4 August for the the depositary bank role.

See this month’s issue of IPE for in-depth report into Italy’s pension system.