According to the data from the Bank of Italy, only 23% of the financial wealth of Italians, which amounts to more than 4.1 trillion Euros, is invested in stocks, which are indirectly held in several financial products, including mutual funds. If we disregard 1 trillion, which is invested in bank deposits, almost 2 trillion are invested in bonds. A 1% return difference translates into 20 billion Euros, roughly the amount required to balance the Italian public budget. Therefore discussing how to manage efficiently a bond portfolio is like talking about how to best manage half of the country’s financial wealth.
The conference "Active and passive management in bond portfolios. The leaders debate", held at SDA Bocconi and organized as part of the opening ceremony for the new Executive Master in Finance (EMF), looked at different bond asset management styles.
Andrea Beltratti, Director of EMF together with Alessia Bezzecchi, presented the course highlighting its unique characteristics, including being a platform for collaboration between the academic world and the business world, as the conference demonstrated. Tommaso Corcos, President of Assogestioni and CEO of Eurizon Capital, discussed further the importance of the relationship between university and businesses, with an emphasis on lifelong learning and motivation in successful companies. An interview with Emanuele Bellingeri, Head of iShares for Italy and Alessandro Gandolfi, Country Head for Pimco in Italy, illustrated the main topic of the conference, and was followed by technical presentations from Brett Olson, Head of Fixed Income EMEA for iShares, Lorenzo Pagani, Managing Director of Pimco, and a panel moderated by Iole Saggese, Chief Editor and host of Class CNBC, which was attended by Manuela D'Onofrio, Head of Global Investment Strategies at Unicredit, Gian Maria Mossa, General Manager of Banca Generali, Renato Zaffuto, Head of Equity at Fideuram Asset Management, and Andrea Beltratti, Director of EMF. The panel discussed various topics, including the macroeconomic scenario and the likelihood of a rise in interest rates, the possible reaction on the part of institutional investors, and the need for markets and financial intermediaries to channel savings towards the real economy.
Finally, the speakers agreed on the future co-existence of active and passive management strategies, which both help markets perform better, increasing liquidity and identifying mispricing situations that need to be quickly corrected in order to bring market prices in line with fundamental values.
SDA Bocconi School of Management