Mediolanum International Funds allocates EUR500 million to three boutique managers

The European asset management platform of Mediolanum Banking Group, Mediolanum International Funds Ltd (MIFL) has allocated EUR500 million to three new partners – Pzena Investment Management (Pzena), Mondrian Investment Partners (Mondrian), and ATLAS Infrastructure (ATLAS).

As a result of this agreement all three firms will benefit from the MIFL distribution platform across Italy, Spain, and Germany. The new partnerships will also help to differentiate MIFL’s unique multi manager structure, onboarding these new expertise and specialists will further enhance MIFL’s investment solutions.

The agreement with Pzena, the EUR40 billion New York based investment boutique will see an initial allocation of EUR220 million in the firm’s global value strategy. Pzena was established in 1995 by Richard Pzena, a renowned value investor. The firm is well known for its high conviction approach, and a focus on buying companies at considerable discount to market. The Global Value portfolio is benchmark agnostic and will typically hold 60 stocks in total.

Sander van Ouwerkerk, Head of Europe and Director of Business Development & Client Services at Pzena Investment Management, says: “We are delighted to be partnering with Mediolanum under a sub-advisory agreement in which Pzena will be one of the delegate managers of their Dynamic International Value Opportunity Fund. Value investing has been Pzena’s singular investment focus since our founding 25 years ago, guided by the belief of investing in companies we think are priced significantly below their long-term earnings potential. Evidence suggests that we are in the early stages of what is likely to be a powerful and enduring period of outperformance for value stocks.”

MIFL will also be partnering with Mondrian, the EUR49 billion London-based manager starting with an allocation of EUR220 million in the firm’s Global Equity strategy. The strategy is value oriented and invests in listed global equity securities in developed countries utilising their dividend methodology where valuations are based in anticipating future dividends, discounting the value of those dividends back to today’s present value. The portfolio will typically hold 35 to 50 stocks in total.

Clive Gillmore, CEO at Mondrian Investment Partners, says: "We are delighted to be partnering with Mediolanum International Funds on their multi-manager platform. We look forward to expanding the distribution of Mondrian’s equity capability across Mediolanum’s extensive European network.

"We believe that Mondrian’s disciplined fundamental research process, enhanced by over 30 years of stable leadership, is the foundation of our success. Dividend Yield and future, inflation adjusted, growth in dividends play a central role in our analysis of investment opportunities across the globe."

Finally, MIFL will also be partnering with specialist listed infrastructure manager ATLAS contributing to seed with EUR70 million investment the firm’s ATLAS Global Infrastructure Fund. The Global Infrastructure Fund integrates ESG within its investment evaluation and portfolio construction process, with a strong focus on climate mitigation to ensure investors can achieve long-term sustainable returns from their infrastructure exposure. The fund meets the Article 8 requirements of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation.

Charles Kirwan-Taylor, Executive Chairman at ATLAS Infrastructure, says: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Mediolanum. We believe Infrastructure, and particularly sustainable infrastructure, is a sector of great interest to investors in Europe and we’re looking forward to working with Mediolanum to address new investor markets for the ATLAS Global Infrastructure Fund.”

Furio Pietribiasi, CEO of Mediolanum International Funds Limited, says: “We are delighted to announce our new partnerships with Pzena, Mondrian and ATLAS.  All are highly specialised players with exceptional track records. They have also provided proof of their resilience generating superior results, thanks to their focus on clients’ outcome, even when in certain cases their strategies were out of favour.

Boutique managers have outperformed both non-boutique peers and comparative indices for the best part of 20 years, and we believe partnering with these firms will further bolster our ability to provide our clients with better and better solutions, sometimes available for the first time ever for retails clients.

These agreements also keep us on track with our goal to allocate at least one third of all our externally managed equity and fixed income assets with boutiques, seeding new strategies or investing in existing ones, improving diversification for our clients. This is the way we provide something unique while avoiding commoditisation, where more and more solutions in the market are focused on flagship strategies of big brands. We believe we are better equipped to achieve this thanks to our 20-years history in the multi manager and sub-advisory industry and our team of highly skilled professionals with over 25-year experience in scouting for talented managers.”

This announcement follows hot on the heels of the partnerships announced earlier this year, including US boutique managers Sustainable Growth Advisers (SGA) and NZS Capital, as well as the European based boutiques – Cadence Investment Partners, Intermede Investment Partners and RWC Partners.