ITALY - Italy's largest pension fund Fondo Cometa has appointed BNP Paribas as its new custodian for its €5bn (US$6.8bn) portfolio.
The appointment is the result of an international tender the fund launched last year.
BNP Paribas will replace Intesa San Paolo (ISP), which last year indirectly lost business from pension funds due to conflicts of interest arising from its acquisition of Monte de Paschi di Siena (MPS)'s custodian activities.
GP first reported pension funds Previmoda and Byblos replaced MPS with Société Générale Securities Services, because they also had asset management mandates in place with Eurizon - a money manager owned by ISP. (Global Pensions, October 5, 2009)
This resulted in a conflict of interest which led to MPS' replacement. Other Italian pension funds are believed to have dropped either MPS or ISP as custodian for the same reason.
BNP Paribas' appointment comes after Fondo Cometa hired consultant MangustaRisk to conduct a manager search in Europe for all its assets under management. (Global Pensions, July 29, 2009)
All of the pension funds mandates, which are currently managed by nine asset managers, will expire in April.
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