ITALY - Fondo Cometa, Italy's largest pension fund, has asked MangustaRisk to review all nine of its existing investment manager mandates, which in total are currently worth €4.3bn.

A statement issued by the parties said Fondo Cometa will conduct a public tender manager search this autumn as its existing external mandates are due to expire in April 2010.

This manager review will also follow "a thorough stress test of today's Strategic Asset Allocation and will include a multitude of Scenario Analyses and Asset Liability models", according to MangustaRisk.

Andrea Canavesio, partner at MangustaRisk, said the review has the potential to be the biggest manager search to be conducted this year.

"This manager search will be the largest for us for 2009 and possibly the largest in Europe for this year," said Canavesio.

"The Italian Institutional Investors market has grown tremendously in the past 10 years and is now shoulder to shoulder with its European peers both on assets under management and on level of expertise," he added.

Fondo Cometa currently provides access to four sub-investment funds derived a combination of specialist and balanced mandates, the first fund of which carries an explicit guarantee of minimum yearly return, The second fund is cash-driven while the third and fourth funds are balanced portfolios with different exposure to risky asset classes.

Fabio Ortolani, president of Fondo Cometa, said of MangustaRisk's appointment: "The choice of  MangustaRisk as a consultant is a fundamental step in our intent to reach a great success on this important topic for Fondo Cometa: the managers selection. We're sure to have chosen a reliable partner and we expect a great job in favour of our members."

The pension fund's most recent appointment was the selction of Allianz Global Investors in April last year to run a €406m absolute return mandate. (See earlier IPE story: Cometa picks Allianz for absolute returns).

Fondo Cometa manages investments for over 480,000 metalworker members, and MangustaRisk is an anglo-italian risk management consultancy company assisting institutional investors with direct and indirect management selections.

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