Italy’s Fondo Pensione Laborfonds has beaten its benchmarks on all four of its investment lines or profiles in preliminary 2015 results, with its balanced line generating 4.13% compared with the 3.71% increase registered over the year in the reference index.

The €2.2bn fund, based in the Trentino Alto Adige (South Tirol) region of northern Italy, said had increased asset diversification and that its prudent approach had become even more important given the macroeconomic and geopolitical situation.

Laborfonds president Gianni Tomasi said: “All lines achieved returns superior to the respective reference benchmarks and, on top of this, gave yields, in absolute terms, that were really significant, taking account of the way markets had gone and the very high level of volatility during the whole year.”

He said the board of directors was very satisfied with the results.

The prudent-ethical line produced a net return of 4.51%, 1.4 percentage points above the benchmark, while the dynamic line generated a net return of 3.87%, compared with the 3.72% benchmark yield. 

The guaranteed line, meanwhile, returned a net 0.90% in 2015 compared with the performance of the reference index of 0.46%.

By comparison, in 2014, returns for the balanced, prudent-ethical, dynamic and guaranteed lines were 10.07%, 11.82%, 9.94% and 1.22%, respectively.

Ivonne Forno, director general at Laborfonds, said markets were now very difficult and increasingly unpredictable.

“Our approach has always been – historically as well – to exercise maximum prudence to protect our members’ assets,” he said. 

Due to the current macroeconomic and geopolitical context, he said this was even more the case this year.

“For this reason, too, we have recently increased diversification while seeking to consolidate the results we have achieved, to limit the risks and – not least – to make investments first and foremost in Italy, such as the Strategic Fund of Trentino Alto Adige, which, apart from being resources for our region’s economy, prove to be more uncorrelated than others,” Forno said.

Laborfonds said its membership numbers decreased slightly during 2015. 

It said it paid significant sums to members in benefits and loans, in connection with “the delicate moment the local economy is going through.” 

Tomasi said the board of directors had discussed ways the scheme could increase membership numbers, including encouraging trade unions to take more responsibility in promoting membership.

Total assets stood at around €2.2bn at the end of 2015.