Concreto, the Italian pension fund for workers in the cement and construction material industries, has changed the investment policy of its ‘Bilanciato’ sub-fund to broaden the allocation to alternative assets.

The scheme will invest 5% of the assets held in the sub-fund in alternatives, in line with its strategic asset allocation, to support the Italian real economy, according to reports.

Moreover, the scheme is considering investing a share of its Bilanciato sub-fund assets in private equity and infrastructure, both with a maximum exposure of 5%.

It is also considering increasing its allocation to private market investments to 15% of total assets, the reports added.

Within alternatives, the Bilanciato sub-fund currently only allocates to private debt via the Fund-of-Funds Private Debt Italia, part of the Real Economy Project, which invests exclusively in Italian closed-end funds, and is managed by the Fondo Italiano di Investimenti SGR (FII), with Cassa Deposit and Prestiti as its main investor.

The largest share of the sub-fund’s investments are made in government and corporate bonds, equities, and futures contracts on stock indices, government bonds and interest rates, repurchase agreements and interest rate swaps, according to the scheme.

Concreto’s board of directors has also extended the mandate of two asset managers – Anima Sgr and BlackRock – to manage the Bilanciato sub-fund until 2028.

Sticking to alternatives

Pension funds like Fondo Gomma Plastica, Inarcassa, Fon.te, and Enpam are increasing their allocations to alternatives, a move called upon to support the Italian economy and companies.

Moreover, the pension funds’ asssociation Assofondipensione launched the Real Economy Project in partnership with Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the partly state-owned investment bank, and asset manager Fondo Italiano d’Investimento to provide a platform for schemes to invest in private equity and private debt fund of funds.

Concreto has invested in the Real Economy Project alongside Fondo Pensione Arco, Laborfonds e Pegaso, Byblos and  PreviAmbiente, among others.

Last year, Assofodipensione and CDP set up a further fund of funds for infrastructure investment, the third leg of the Real Economy Project, managed by CDP Real Assets.

The fund of funds’ goal was to raise €500m to invest in closed-end alternative investment funds (AIF), with a greenfield component (newly built projects) and revamping (projects involving improvement and/or expansion investments), promoting ESG aspects, according to CPD.

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