Italy’s largest complementary pension fund Cometa announced it has picked seven major asset managers to run more than €8.3bn in assets via 10 five-year mandates.

Winners of the contracts – part of a tender launched at the beginning of April as the €9.6bn pension fund sought to complete its shift towards active management – include Allianz Global Investors, Candriam Investors Group and BlackRock Investment Management.

Other managers to be given mandates in the large tender are Credit Suisse, Eurizon Capital, Groupama Asset Management and State Street Global Advisors (SSGA).

The Milan-based pension fund, which covers workers in the metal and mechanical engineering sectors, has emphasised in the tender process the importance of the assets being managed along responsible investment lines.

In all, 35 asset managers participated in the tender process, in which Cometa said it conducted an in-depth analysis of the profiles of the proposed financial offers and then met the candidates.

The mandates were for the asset management of three of Cometa’s investment compartments: monetary-plus, income and growth.

Management of the income compartment – the largest of the three, involving around €4.9bn of assets and is designed to produce a return in line with the TFR (trattamento di fine rapporto, or severence pay) – was awarded to Allianz GI, BlackRock, Candriam, Credit Suisse and SSGA.

These mandates are for active multi-asset investment on a total-return basis, Cometa said.

Assets in the monetary-plus compartment, worth around €2.8bn, are to be managed by Allianz GI, Eurizon Capital and Groupama, by investing in bonds with controlled risk.

Meanwhile, investment of the €575m growth compartment has been split between BlackRock and Candriam, which will be running active multi-asset funds with controlled risk.

Roberto Santarelli, deputy president of the Cometa pension fund, said: “In the context of reductions in the level of first-pillar pensions coverage, it is the job of complementary pension funds to respond in an effective way to the needs of the workers.”

He said it was precisely for this reason, and because of the fundamental role of complementary pension funds, that Cometa had asked the new managers to adopt a more active investment approach to get attractive yields, even in current market conditions.

It also sought an approach based on careful risk management in all investment phases, which Santarelli said was always a fundamental consideration for Cometa.

“In awarding the mandates, as well as the experience and expertise of the companies in managing financial and pensions portfolios, we also evaluated the attention paid to the issues of accountability and sustainability of investments,” he said.

He said this was because the pension fund considered it the duty of an institutional investor such as Cometa to promote responsible investment culture, mindful of the impact financial choices could have on social, environmental and governance levels.

After having renewed the investment management of assets in the safety (Sicurezza) compartment last year, and now having assigned the management of assets in the remaining compartments, Santarelli said Cometa would now be busy completing the new asset allocation of the fund.

It will launch the alternative investment implementation phase within the income compartment, also aimed at supporting the country’s economy, with a view to diversifying and hunting for yield, while always respecting the risk limits put in place for the compartment, Santarelli said.