BG Selection Sicav opens the door to the Italian market

Banca Generali CEO Piermario Motta has explained the deals involving Aberdeen, Oddo and AllianceBernstein funds distributed via its BG Selection Sicav.

Oddo Asset Management, Alliance Bernstein and Aberdeen Asset Management are three brands with different nationality, history and management styles, but which now have something in common.

In September, all three announced the launch of a fund of funds, on Banca Generali’s funds platform: Aberdeen Emerging Markets and Currency Opportunity, Oddo Expertise Europe and AllianceBernstein Equity 3D.

All three products are now available on Banca Generali’s BG Selection Sicav, a Luxembourg vehicle launched in 2008 by the Italian manager, in which monobrand funds are managed directly by selected and highly specialised third-party partners. The BG Selection Sicav now includes 46 funds managed by 26 houses, but the number is set to grow further, Piermario Motta, chief executive of Banca Generali tells Investment Europe.

A profitable model

“The Sicav has attracted more than €5bn of assets since it was launched in 2008, which represents about 20% of our assets under management. It is a profitable model for clients, financial advisers, management firms and us. We act as a neutral partner, because all funds are priced equally, and have a 2.5% fee,” he says. “We don’t have any conflict of interest and the financial advisers can feel free to suggest the best solution for their clients’ needs.”

For an international brand, BG Selection is an easy way to access the Italian market, where savings are still high despite the crisis, Motta says. “Traditionally, retail banks have had a near-monopoly of the Italian savings market, but this model has been gradually hit by the recent crisis. Instead, more credit has been given to financial adviser networks, offering open architecture and a better service to diversify the investments,” Motta says.

At the same time, managers are under pressure because they need to show results and to attract flows. “Some funds have been able to attract €400m or €500m in just few months. But we have not ruled out the possibility of taking some products off the platform in the future, if they can’t show a good track record,” Motta says.

He adds that looking ahead, Banca Generali is considering new products and brands: “We are always looking out for specialist skills. For example, we have just met an interesting team of fund managers with a great ability in covering small-caps, and we might consider it. Overall, we are receiving a lot of interest from new managers that, as I said, are willing to take a step in the Italian saving market,” Motta says.

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