Previmoda’s private market investments had a positive impact on the scheme’s 2023 returns, a year that saw most sub-funds with a higher exposure to equities outperform.

In particular the private equity project (Project Iris), and the private debt project (Project Zephyr), recorded largely positive performances during the year in 2023, said the Italian pension fund for the fashion and textile sector.

In 2020 industry-wide pension funds created consortia to invest in private debt through Project Zephyr (or ‘Progetto Zefiro’) and in private equity through Project Iris (or ‘Progetto Iride’).

Last year, Previmoda boosted allocations to private equity through Project Iris with other pension schemes including Foncer, Fondo Gomma Plastica, Pegaso. The schemes invested a total €115m in the project, on top of €216m committed already to nine Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs).

Previmoda has also committed €40m to infrastructure investments in a project called Vesta, with a consortium of four other industry-wide pension funds. The schemes have committed a total of €168m to invest in infrastructure through the Vesta project.

Allocations to private assets are key strategic investments for Previmoda for the purpose of portfolio diversification and to achieve target returns, although they represent a small share of its investment portfolio, the fund added.

The scheme has faced a roller coaster year, with a banking crisis, market volatility, and a strong recovery, ending 2023 with “excellent returns”, it said.

The equity-exposed Rubino Azionario sub-fund, investing 59% of its assets in equities and 41% in bonds, returned 8.2% last year, and 5.2% per year in the last five years.

The more conservative Garantito sub-fund, investing 95% in bonds and 5% in equities, returned 4.27% last year, and -0.71% per year in the last five years.

The Smeraldo Bilanciato sub-fund, investing 32% in equities and 68% in bonds, returned 6.02% in 2023, and 3.17% per year over the past five years, the scheme said.

Previmoda has introduced two new life cycle investment options, a mix of existing sub-funds, the first one as 50% Rubino and 50% of the Smeraldo sub-funds, and the second one as 50% Smeraldo and 50% Garantito sub-funds.

Scheme assets at the end of last year totalled €1.63bn, and the number of members reached 63,877.

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