ITALY- State Street Global Advisors has bought out Italian insurer Mediolanum SpA’s 50% stake in their fund management joint venture after a difference in strategies.

The joint venture company, Mediolanum State Street SGR p.A, will be renamed SSgA SGR p.A. The buy-out came as the investment arm of State Street Corporation and the Italian insurance company decided to focus on “different strategies”.

Giuseppe Campanella, previously chief investment officer of Fondamenta, the private equity fund of funds launched by Mediolanum State Street SGR p.A in 2001, and the new head of SsgA SGR p.A. told IPE the central bank, Banca d’Italia, was expected to endorse the buy-out in about a month.

Campanella said the joint venture, which was launched in 1998, had been devised to penetrate the country’s third pillar’s market and had succeeded in gaining a prominent role in the sector, coming second after San Paolo IMI Wealth Management.

But he admitted the market was immature and only offered low commissions. As a result Mediolanum has decided to sell its share in the joint venture and re-focus on medium-income families. State Street will use its now wholly-owned company to target banking groups, pension funds and families of large means.

State Street added it would continue to manage Fondamenta “in addition to developing a new range of funds covering other alternative asset classes”. The banking companies Fondazione Cariplo and Fondazione CariVerona and the lawyers’ pension fund Cassa di Previdenza Forense, have invested €163m in Fondamenta.

State Street also said the new company’s investment team would remain intact and Alberto Argnani, a director of Deloitte Financial advisory Services, would join as senior investment manager.