Italian investment bank Equita launches own asset manager to focus on alternative investments

Eugenia Jiménez
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Italian investment bank Equita launches own asset manager to focus on alternative investments

Equita Capital SGR recently received authorisation from the Bank of Italy to start operating as an asset management company in the southern European country.

Equita Capital SGR will start operating with more than €1bn of assets under management, including the discretionary accounts and the two flexible funds managed on behalf of the Credem Group, in addition to the Equita Private Debt Fund, one of the first private debt funds launched in Italy in 2016.

Equita Capital SGR has been launched by the Italian independent investment bank Equita. The new company will offer its expertise in the management of liquid and illiquid assets to institutional investors and banking networks looking for customised investment solutions, the company said in a note.

The authorization of Bank of Italy enables Equita Capital SGR to start its operations and accelerates the growth strategy of the Group in alternative asset management," Andrea Vismara, Equita's CEO

It added that the new management firm will take into account all the relevant ESG factors affecting Italian SMEs and will cooperate with a team of sustainability experts from Equita and Altis, the Graduate Business School and Society of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore with whom Equita signed an agreement in February 2019.

Equita followed: "As manager of discretionary accounts since 2003, Equita has always followed an investment philosophy focused on concentrated portfolios, where bets on sectors and stock picking are based on fundamental analysis and ongoing dialogue with the analysts of the research team.

"Focus on small and mid-caps is key as it represents the most significant area in terms of assets under management (€130m invested in or dedicated to these companies) with a strong track record in terms of returns over time (+13.6% average gross annual return over the last ten years). Then, from 2018 till today, two flexible funds launched by Euromobiliare Asset Management SGR (subsidiary of the Credem Group) have been added to the assets managed by Equita. The first, Euromobiliare Equity Mid Small Cap fund, whose fundraising closed in December 2018 with €392m was followed in June 2019 by the Euromobiliare Equity Selected Dividend fund, which raised €229m."

Equita Capital SGR will offer several solutions, from alternative products - such as private debt funds dedicated to professional investors - to asset management of liquid and illiquid instruments.

The firm also announced the manager's plans to launch its second private debt fund soon and its aim to promote new initiatives within the private equity domain to exploit the favourable framework that is setting up in Italy following the introduction of tax incentives for new investment structures like the European Long-Term Investment Funds (ELTIFs).  

It will also be developing new products in other asset classes like venture capital, renewable energies and real estate, launching initiatives that pay attention to ESG factors, that present attractive returns for investors, and that impact positively the invested companies, helping for instance entrepreneurs to finance their businesses.

The Board of Directors of Equita Capital SGR will be composed by six members, represented by two independent directors (including the chairman), three managers in charge of the three key business areas of the management company (including the CEO), and the chief financial officer of the Equita Group.

Andrea Vismara, chief executive officer of Equita, said: "The authorization of Bank of Italy enables Equita Capital SGR to start its operations and accelerates the growth strategy of the Group in alternative asset management. The management company will focus on differentiating products, providing co-developed solutions to financial institutions and banks, and offering alternative investment opportunities to professional investors."

Matteo Ghilotti, chief executive officer of Equita Capital SGR, added: "The strategy of Equita Capital SGR is clear: we will not enter into wealth management or traditional asset management. Instead, we will continue to distinguish ourselves in the market, offering investment solutions based on our deep knowledge of Italian and European mid-small caps, with investment styles focused on mid-term and attention to ethics and sustainability."

Eugenia Jiménez
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Eugenia Jiménez

Eugenia Jiménez speaks Spanish and is Iberia Correspondent for Investment Europe covering Spain & Portugal, as well as Italy.