Assogestioni’s president predicts

The president of Italian fund association Assogestioni is positive on the future of the industry, but highlights where managers need to remain focused.

Giordano Lombardo (pictured) was appointed president of industry association Assogestioni some 18 months ago and has already witnessed record performance from the industry.

Now it is a matter of remaining on top of the bull. InvestmentEurope recently asked him about whether the trend is sustainable and what challenges and opportunities he sees ahead.

“The opportunity facing the Italian asset management industry is huge. The €111bn net inflows gathered between January 2014 and August 2015 confirm the Italian tendency to save, which according to the national statistics office Istat is currently at 8.7%, 0.8% up year on year.

“I am very hopeful about the future of the asset management industry, also bearing in mind that we still live in a context of close to zero yields, and with global growth still below 3%. In such a situation, the DIY option remains counterproductive and sometimes even dangerous,” Lombardo says.

TRENDS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Within the famously conservative Italian investment universe, Assogestioni data have highlighted some new trends that confirm both Lombardo’s view on the future of the industry as well as the current scenario of yields remaining low for longer.

“Out of the €81bn collected between January and August this year by open ended funds, more than 50% went into flexible funds, while 14% went into balanced funds. However, the numbers still confirm the Italian traditional attitude with 22% of total inflows still going into fixed income products, while equity funds make up of only 7% of total inflows since the beginning of the year.

“Italians are starting to value active managers more than DIY, but it is now important to boost advisory services,” Lombardo explains.

As the trends show, Italian investors have ackowledged that fixed income is no longer a valid option for consistent and reliable returns, but are still looking for safe sources of income rather than going for equities straightaway.

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