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Big Funds You've Never Heard of-Part VI

As part of my ongoing series entitled ‘big funds you’ve never heard of’, I’d like to draw your attention to... a big, dare I say giant, fund you’ve probably never heard of. Let’s start with some hints shall we...

As part of my ongoing series focused on ‘big funds you’ve never heard of’, I’d like to draw your attention to... a big fund – and this time I mean really big – you’ve probably never heard of. Given its size, this may a be a bit more challenging. But let’s see if I can stump you:

  • It has over $300 billion (with a 'B') in assets under management and has around 500 employees. (You: “What? And I’ve never heard of it?” Me: "Probably not.")
  • It manages a major share of the sponsoring country’s savings, which it invests at home and abroad in private equity, infrastructure, equity and debt.

Any ideas? Let's continue: 

  • It is structured as a “joint stock company” with the government owning 70% of the stock.
  • While it invests internationally, it’s main goal is to support economic growth in the country where it is located.

Got it? Still nothing?

  • It acts as a catalyst for the development of infrastructure.
  • It was a founding member of the “Long-Term Investors Club”.
  • It is based in Europe.

Are you there? No? OK, we need to get more direct:

  • This Fund’s employees speak Italian... and probably live in Rome or its environs.
  • One of its subsidiaries is the “Fondo Strategico Italiano”, which “acquires stakes in companies of major national interest”.

Now you got it, right? And the mystery fund is... 

The Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP).  Here’s a blurb:

"The CDP Group (the “Group”), composed of the parent company, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A (“CDP”), and the companies subject to its management and coordination, works to support Italy’s growth and employs its resources, mainly funded through its management of postal savings (postal savings bonds and postal savings passbook accounts), in accordance with its institutional mission, in its capacity as a:

  • leader in financing the investments of public entities;
  • catalyst for infrastructure development;
  • key player in supporting the Italian economy and national enterprise."

So there you have it... Italy has a $300 billion fund financed out of postal savings that is trying to develop the national economy. I follow this Giant because of its Greenfield investments in infrastructure; which is a very hard thing to do (read this and this). As such, the CDP is thus well worth getting to know!

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