ITALY- Banco Desio has awarded ABN Amro Mellon a non-domestic equities and bonds custody mandate worth in the region of one billion euros.

Banco Desio’s head of services and marketing Gianfranco Cascone said the bank, listed at the Milan Stock Exchange since 1995, had previously awarded the non-domestic brief to another company which he declined to name.

The Italian assets would continued to be looked after in-house. The bank was founded in 1909 and has 83 branches. It specialises in small and medium-sized enterprises.

Cascone also said that five global custodians had been short-listed for the mandate and that the high quality of technology had been a key factor in ABN Amro Mellon’s selection.

“In a thorough review of their investment process, Banco Desio looked for a quality provider to focus on the global markets they have opted not to cover through their network,” ABN Amro Mellon said.

Nadine Chakar, chief executive of ABN Amro Mellon, said the joint venture company was focusing on “extending and strengthening” its position in Europe.

“We are making important inroads into the Italian market and Banco Desio is a notable example of our progress.”

Banco Desio also owns an insurance company, Desio Vita, an asset management arm, SGR Anima, as well as a Luxembourg-based arm.