Solidarietà Veneto, the pension fund for the workers in the Veneto region, has replaced Generali Investments with Anima and Great Lakes Insurance, the subsidiary of Munich Re, to manage the assets in its ‘Garantito’ sub-fund, the scheme said.

The scheme has handed over the mandates to Anima and Great Lakes Insurance until 31 December 2030, it said, adding that the investment strategy of the new asset managers is prudent and, generally, geared towards achieving returns not as high as other sub-funds.

Solidarietà Veneto has opted for the new asset managers, looking at a new environment of higher interest rates that has given a new “life” to a bond market that was struggling over the past decade, it added.

Especially ‘Garantito’ sub-funds, which invest their assets mostly in fixed income with low-risk strategies, found the zero interest rate environment challenging to meet returns in line with members’ expectations.

Members in the ‘Garantito’ sub-fund will receive in the future the full guarantee of 100% of paid contributions, worth the value accrued as of 30 June 2020, including contributions paid after that date net of withdrawals, it said.

The ‘Garantito’ sub-fund returned 3% net at the end of December, below 10.43% returned by the ‘Dinamico’ sub-fund, driven by the positive performance of bonds and equities, 6.47% by the ‘Reddito’ option, with results mainly driven in this case by bond investments, and 6.14% by the ‘Prudente’ sub-fund, the scheme added.

‘Prudente’ tactically exploited the announcements of the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve that contributed to a fall in interest rates and an increase in the value of bonds, the fund said.

Paolo Stefan, director of the scheme, said: “Returns in 2023 exceed expectations. We cannot, however, forget those critical issues that the markets have decided to ignore at this stage, focusing exclusively on the positive elements.”

In the last 10 years, the ‘Garantito’ option returned 5.89%, below 26.41% of the severance pay (Trattamento di Fine Rapporto), a performance benchmark for those types of sub-funds, and with inflation increasing by 18.90% during the period, the scheme added.

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