ANNOUNCEMENT: Expert Investor is now PA Europe. Read more.

Italy is land of opportunity for Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs Asset Management is targeting Italy as its biggest growth opportunity for its Luxembourg SICAV, five years after kick-starting a strategy to work with the mutual fund distributors at a local level.


Mark Battersby

The US investment banking group’s SICAV has already risen through the ranks in size of assets, from 43rd to 18th, currently at just over $50bn, while GSAM as a whole has $1.2trn under supervision.

Nick Phillips, head of international third-party distribution at GSAM, said: “If within the next five years we get into the top 10, we will be happy.”

A key part of the next retail-focused step involved Italy, he said: “Our biggest business in Europe is in Italy. At the same time, I also think it’s our biggest opportunity.

New hires

“We’ve just hired two people in Italy who are very experienced individuals who will help us deepen our relationships with the distributors. I will expect us to hire more people in the region to support that growth.” 

The two new hires are executive directors Emanuele Negro, previously with JP Morgan Asset Management, and Matteo Buonomini, formerly head of advisory with Fidelity, who both report to team head Loredana La Pace.

The others making up the eight-strong team in Italy are Marta Sigismondi, executive director; Claudio de Flilippo, associate; Damiano Pedergnani, analyst; Alessandro Verdirrame, analyst; and Veronica Milani, analyst.

Italian attraction

GSAM cites a number of reasons as to why Italy is an important market, including the fact no foreign manager holds more than a 3% share of the overall Italian open-end fund market and that this group of managers has grown its market share significantly during the past five years.

The proportion of assets Italian households allocate to investment funds has now returned to growth, according to Assogestioni, the Italian association of asset managers.

Phillips said other countries where the SICAV was distributed, which covers EMEA, Asia and Latin America, were mostly at the size that he wanted them to be.

“Though we tend to have two or three strategic clients in each country, we are expanding that to three or four, depending on where we are in the evolution of that local business.”