Advisory is the key driver for future growth in Italy’s asset management industry, Alessandro Varaldo, CEO and managing director of Amundi SGR told InvestmentEurope.
Italy’s funds industry saw its AUM increase to €1.85trn by the end of March, and net inflows in the first quarter of this year reached €26.7bn.
Most of the inflows (€24bn) came from banks, as the Italian banking sector is “investing significantly in their advisory division for funds,” Varaldo said.
“Advisory, the capability to provide global advisory to the final client, is the key driver for the future and development of the asset management industry,” he said.
Following the bankruptcy of some Italian banks, a “tremendous push” was made towards the advisory approach, in order to achieve a higher diversification of the investment portfolio for the final client, Varaldo said.
“Advisory is a crucial element for the future to diversify performance and have safe risk levels for the final client,” he said.
Amundi ended the first quarter of the year with a net inflow of €1.4bn. In Q1, the Italian asset manager hit a record of over €40bn in AUM and the group held the tenth place in the ranking of Italian asset managers released by industry body Assogestioni.
Open-end funds, institutional portfolio management and ETFs have helped to support the growth trend started for Amundi already in 2014, the asset manager said.
Varaldo said Amundi’s Italy growth in Q1 was due to “diversified and innovative investment solutions” that can be customised for retail and institutional investors in order to reduce volatility and increase returns.
“It’s noteworthy to mention the high interest of professional investors for socially evolved investments that Amundi is bringing on the spotlight, such as low carbon and smart beta strategies,” he said.