The board of directors of Fondo Espero, the Italian pension fund for school employees, has decided to rejig its existing mandates to start a process that progressively aims to label its sub-funds under the article 8 of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), the scheme said in a statement.

The transition towards the classification of its sub-funds under article 8 requires significant efforts to identify elements to promoted (or the objectives to be achieved), and activating a complex monitoring activity, the scheme added.

Moreover, Espero will have to define and measure indicators, including indicators of principal adverse impact, and report according to templates. It will sit down with the parties involved in the process to apply article 8 to its sub-funds, including asset managers, advisors and data providers, on the topic of carbon neutrality and net zero, it added.

So far, Espero has screened its portfolios through a ‘Portfolio ESG Assessment’, using an international database with information on a large number of issuers, calculating ratings based on predefined criteria, the scheme said.

The portfolio screening based on ESG risks will likely lead to exclusions, it added.

The scheme’s assets are currently split between two sub-funds: ‘Garanzia’, where the severance payments (Trattamento di Fine Rapport, TFR) flow, and ‘Crescita’, which holds a medium risk profile.

The assets in the sub-fund ‘Crescita’ are managed through six different mandates – active equity, passive equity, global aggregate, global aggregate 1-3 year, monetary, and tail risk hedge.

The board of directors extended the tail risk hedge mandate managed by Epsilon Asset Management, the global aggregate 1-3 year brief managed by Vontobel Asset Management, and the monetary mandate managed by Groupama Asset Management, the pension fund said.

These mandates were renewed for approximately one year, coinciding with the expiry date of other asset management mandates of the sub-fund ‘Crecita’, it added.

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