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Italy’s Marco Polo tenders admin, depositary

ITALY - Marco Polo-Fond Pensione, the pension scheme targeting the 800,000-strong tourism sector, has tendered for a depositary bank and an administrative service provider.

The 1,100-member fund - set up by trade unions, employers and employees and headed by Confindustria’s director of welfare, Elio Schettino - was authorised to collect contributions in October.

Its target membership ranges around 40,000, said Raffaele Vanni, member of the board of directors at the pension fund.

Vanni, who is also national president of the services arm of trade union UIL, told IPE that at the moment the fund has been successful among workers of large hotels and spa complexes, but it would potentially suit the many workers of small business, he said.

In the request for tender for the depositary bank, Marco Polo said inflows reached 21 million euros in the first year – and could exceed 29 million euros in the second.

In the third year, the fund could collect up to 95 million euros, if the pension reform is implemented by decree.

Candidate depositary banks should be based in the European Union and have a subsidiary in Italy. The fund also requires that they have at least 250 million euros as of December 31 2003.

The successful candidate is expected to provide the services described by the law on pension funds as well as “additional services that the candidate find instrumental to the service of depositary bank”.

Experience in dealing with mutual funds and/or pension funds is also requested.

Candidates are to fill a questionnaire and send their application by November 18, at noon local time. This deadline also includes bids for the role of administrative service administrator.

For administrative services, the fund requires a description of the applicant’s structure as well as its hardware and operational system. Administrative services applicants should also give details of their experience with pension funds and other investors

A spokesman for the fund told IPE the board of director would try to appoint the deposit bank and the administrative services provider by the end of 2004.

The request for tenders can be downloaded on www.fondomarcopolo.it.

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