Italian pension fund seeks new managers

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The Fondapi pension scheme, based in Rome, has announced it is looking for specialist active fund managers to run mandates with a total value of €430 million.

Fondapi, the National Supplementary Pension Fund for Employees of Small and Medium Enterprises, has over 40,000 subscribers from a potential pool of about 500,000 workers. It has total assets of almost €500million.

It is looking for two bond managers and two equity managers to run six distinct mandates. One manager will run two global aggregate bond mandates of around €150 million, while another will run a separate global aggregate bond mandate of some €12 million.

The scheme is also seeking a manager to run two global equity mandates of €50 million and another manager to run a global equity mandate of around €12million.

Fondapi's approach puts a strong emphasis on sustainability, using an ESG benchmark created by specialist provider ECPI. The mandates must also keep within the investable limits defined for SGR firms in Italy. The process of manager selection will be completed with the support of Prometeia Advisor Sim.

Mauro Bichelli (pictured), general manager of the pension fund, has very clear views about what he is looking for in the fund managers. 

Bond managers must first show they have sufficient capacity to diversify risk when it comes to government debt, as well as the flexibility to change their positions to take account of different market conditions.

Secondly, he wants to see 'quality in the choice of corporates - knowledge of the balance sheet of the issuer and liquidity of the issue'.

Equity fund managers, meanwhile, should be able to demonstrate a dynamic approach to liquidity. 

'In the coming years it may be necessary to maintain a greater level of liquidity than in the past,' Bichelli said.

He also wants to see evidence of effective tools for the management of currency hedging and for identifying emerging risks.

Managers who believe they can meet Bichelli's criteria have until 18th December 2012 to submit the necessary documentation.

Full details can be found on the Fondapi website, click here.