Consolidation ahead in the Italian AM space

Italy’s asset management industry will be significantly affected by increasing M&A activity in the space of Popolari banks – local saving banks – says Anima SGR of its look ahead at possible scenarios in 2016.

“We believe the Italian asset management sector may be subject to consolidation projects in 2016, also due to the effects of the reform [Law no. 33/2015] approved by the government to modify the governance of cooperative banks,” says Marco Carreri, managing director of Anima.

Leaving aside the well previewed joint venture between Pioneer Investments and Santander Asset Management, Anima is also involved in talks for the acquisition of Arca SGR, currently owned by the Popolari network and therefore affected by the law.

Details on the deal are yet to be confirmed, as US fund Atlas also put forward an offer for some €1bn.

With some €66bn in funds as of the end of September, Carreri says innovation will be crucial going forward.

“The domestic asset management sector has undergone substantial growth over the last few years, also due to favourable conditions for financial markets, created by the major central banks supporting the economy.

“The situation from this point onwards will be more complex, as bond yields are pressed down to level zero and in the future can only rise or stay at current levels, while the equity markets, after nearly four years of increases, now require new drivers to keep up growth.

“The innovation of the investment solutions on which Anima has always counted in order to satisfy the changing requirements of its clientele will be a critical success factor.”

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