ITALY - Italian asset manager Arca SGR has launched a mutual fund to meet the needs of institutional investors called Anfiteatro – MultiInvestmentFund.

Arca, which says it has around 38 billion euros under management on behalf of retail and institutional clients, has been granted permission by the Bank of Italy to start and has awarded sub-mandates.

“The fund’s development was based on an analysis of the investment needs of Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca,” Arca said.

The foundation, one the largest in Italy, was assisted on asset allocation and manager choice by consultant Prometeia and by Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca Spa.

The mutual fund has been structured in six classes: two dedicated to short term investment mandates, two for global bonds, one on global equities, and one for balanced mandates.

Arca’s chief executive Attilio Ferrari told IPE that a product like Anfiteatro, the second of its kind in Italy, would cut running costs as well as simplifying management and accounting costs.

He also mentioned tax offsets between annual tax credits and taxes due arising from gains and losses on investments and “competitive pricing”.

“It is very useful for foundations, which tend to have few staff, to rely on a product based on multi-asset and multi-manager approach and a high degree of risk monitoring,” Ferrari said.

Anfiteatro is co-managed by BNP Paribas Asset Management, Generali Asset Management, Grifogest, Julius Baer Asset Management and Credit Suisse First Boston. Arca acts as general overseer.

Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmi di Livorno have recently made investments in the fund - “approving this initiative and the uniqueness of such an instrument”. But Arca declined to elaborate on the size of the investments.

“We are proud that this ambitious project and we hope to attract other foundations. We are starting to market the product,” Ferrari said.

Arca SGR, founded by 12 cooperative banks, distributes its products through a network consisting of more 8,000 branches, networks of financial consultants and online investment companies.