Italy’s AM industry is poised for growth in 2013, says Assogestioni

Although the Italian asset management industry reached record AUM of €1.2trn in November 2012, industry body Assogestioni believes further growth is possible the industry will grow further if firms can guide investors to most suitable asset allocation.

Just before the end of 2012, the outlook of Italy’s asset management industry turned more positive, as the industry managed to invert a trend of negative outflows which marked most of the year, posting about €1bn inflows in November.

According to data released monthly by industry association Assogestioni, November was the fourth month of the year in which flows were positive, following positive flows in March, August and September. This suggests that the industry is slowly becoming more balanced.

In November, Italy’s asset management industry posted €852m inflows, reaching overall assets under management of €1,196bn.

Assets under management were almost equally divided between portfolio management (56%) and collective management (44%).

Foreign-domiciled funds had the strongest performance, with €1.46bn inflows. Domestic funds posted €51m inflows. Bond funds posted €2.7bn inflows, with more than €21bn attracted by the asset class since the beginning of the year.

November was also positive for flexible funds, with €623m inflows.  Between August and November, mutual funds posted €3.2bn inflows, and this asset class is driving the positive outlook change.

Tailored mutual funds

In a recent interview with the Italian press, Domenico Siniscalco (pictured), chairman of Assogestioni, said that having reached €1.2trn under management, the highest since the last record was set in 2007 at €1,192bn, the industry is poised for further growth in 2013, in particular if domestic retail investors value and adopt a long-term investment strategy based on a tailored use of mutual funds.

According to Assogestioni, which is getting ready to host its annual asset management event Salone del Risparmio in April, industry players will be faced with two main challenges in 2013: strengthening the relationship between saving and investments and educating Italian investors about pension plans.

Moreover, the renewed outlook of stability and confidence will have to be consolidated through the further development of ‘individual saving plans’ (piani individuali di risparmio), introduced by a draft law that is awaiting ratification.
Meanwhile, Assogestioni defines the relationship between saving and investments as “an open construction side”.

The €1.2trn assets managed by the industry need to be channelled on projects of development. The association has called on whatever government is elected in February to address the issue.

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