ITALY – The Italian mutual fund advisory programme market is the most effective way to penetrate the Italian asset management market, says Boston-based asset management research and consulting firm, Cerulli Associates.

The Italian mutual fund advisory programme market (gestioni patrimoniali in fondi, or GPF) programmes as a distribution channel have increased from 56% in 1999 to 62% in June 2002 for international managers operating in Italy, says Cerulli in a report.

Research shows that the bulk of new net flows over the past year for international managers has come almost exclusively from GPF programmes.

As a result of increasing interest, Cerulli forecasts the market to grow to 190 billion euros by 2006, from 166 million euros as of June 2002.

According to the research, GPF programmes are already the largest pool of mutual fund advisory programme assets in the world. The growth of GPF programme assets has been central to the development of the retail asset management marketplace in Italy in the past decade. As the market matures, Cerulli expects the share of GPF programme assets to stabilise at about 30% of Italian retail mutual fund assets by 2006.

Mutual fund advisory programmes are designed to systematically allocate investors’ assets across a wide range of mutual funds. Services include client profiling, account monitoring, and portfolio rebalancing. The first programmes were initiated in 1993.