Shortly after the launch of our onemarkets Fund products, we announced the signing of a letter of intent with leading Italian asset manager Azimut Holding, outlining the main princi- ples for the distribution of asset management products in Italy.
The partnership accelerated our strategy to drive greater value and scale from our existing asset management business for the benefit of clients – broadening our activities along the value chain as we look to rebuild core competencies.
At the same time, the agreement also enabled us to expand our own ecosystem, through the potential distribution of banking products to Azimut. Azimut will incorporate, and autonomously run, a management company in Ireland that will develop investment products for distribution in Italy through our powerful network on a non-exclusive basis.
Based on the implementation agreements to be signed by the parties, UniCredit will be entitled to exercise a call option on the newly established Irish management company fully owned by Azimut in five years’ time, or earlier subject to specific circumstances, as is customary in this kind of transaction.
In the event of the call option being exercised, UniCredit would control its own high value factory together with onemarkets Fund products and other asset management entities already part of the Group, thereby re-building selective components of the asset management value chain.
As a bank, we are always seeking out ways to generate added value for our stakehold- ers. Whilst this partnership will allow us to offer our seven million Italian clients more solutions, it also underlines our enduring commitment to strengthening the asset management industry in the country.
A conversation with...
Claudia Vacanti, Head of Group Investment & Protection Products
To you, what does the partnership with Azimut mean for UniCredit?
Head of Group Investment & Protection Products
This partnership, for us, is about driving scale and synergies – as we simultaneously access Azimut’s industrial expertise and accelerate the execution of our own asset management strategy. Moreover, we will be able to positively contribute to the development of the asset management industry in Italy, our historic home market. It is the right model for our clients and us. We have shown throughout UniCredit Unlocked that where we don’t have the skills internally, we may look to strike partnerships where we are light – plugging the gaps in content and execution. Azimut is the latest step in this journey.
Why was this important for UniCredit’s agenda and commitments?
We want to rebuild our asset management competencies, and this initiative is part of a broader strategy to internalize more of the value chain and strike partnerships with best-in-class providers. The agreement with Azimut will allow us to add another engine to the set-up, increasing our capacity to implement products and improve services. In staying close to our clients, we are able to anticipate and understand their needs – fine-tuning our offering over time to be more impactful and relevant for today’s market cycle. We will never stop implementing new tools and ideas.
Why are you particularly proud to have worked on this initiative?
This initiative, together with the launch of onemarkets Fund SICAV, is a key pillar of UniCredit Unlocked as they will both allow us to foster internal skills and enhance growth opportunities – making Unicredit the provider of choice for Individual Solutions. But it is also a story of cross-business collaboration. When we unlock the potential of the Group, it is clear we have the scale and expertise to deliver industry-leading products and services for the benefit of our clients. We are moving into a period of growth, with a clear vision for who, how and where we want to be.