The private equity and private debt fund of funds (FoFs) for the Italian Real Economy Project (Progetto Economia Reale) – launched by Assofondipensione in partnership with Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the partly state-owned investment bank, and asset manager Fondo Italiano d’Investimento – will close on 30 June with an investment volume of approximately €500m, Giovanni Maggi, president of Assofondipensione, told IPE.

Close to 20 pension schemes have invested in the FoFs to reach such target, Maggi added. The pension funds had requested to postpone the closing, which was originally planned for the end of December 2021, by six months.

The pension schemes ARCO Fondo Pensione, Concreto, Prevedi, Laborfonds, Byblos and Pegaso contributed with a total of €120m to the project.

Arco, the pension fund for workers employed in the wood, furniture, forestry, brick and concrete sectors, has invested €24.5m – with €12.2m in private debt and €12.2m in private equity. Laborfonds has instead allocated a total of €30m, with €20m in private debt and €10m in private equity.

Pegaso, the contractual pension fund for employees in the utilities sector, has invested a total of €14.3m, including €10m in private equity and €4.3m in private debt.

The number of pension funds investing directly in illiquid asset classes in Italy, through mandates or through projects, has been on the rise in the last few years, Maggi said, adding that now “80-90% of the fondi pensione negoziali [industry-wide pension funds] invest in private equity, private debt and infrastructure”.

The “third leg” of the Real Economy Project, the infrastructure fund of funds, will start later this year around September or October with a €250m fundraising target to close in 2023.

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