Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has partnered with Italian distributor Widiba Bank in a bid to push its thematic ETF range in the region.
The asset manager is looking to leverage the bank’s distribution network of financial advisers, with investors gaining access to its suite of thematic ETFs from the end of this month.
LGIM said the partnership was part of the UK giant’s growth strategy to expand its presence across continental Europe.
Giancarlo Sandrin, Italy and Spain country head at LGIM, said it hopes to capture the “consistent growth” of thematic ETFs in Italy.
“Italy is a key market for LGIM in continental Europe. Having strengthened our team in Milan over the course of 2022, we believe this partnership is going to be a key driver for LGIM’s growth in the country.
“The collaboration also allows us to respond to the needs of our clients and prospects: We are seeing increasing investor appreciation for the transparency and efficiency index products can offer, as well as for new distribution networks which promote their availability.”
ETF issuers have been targeting Italy as one of the key growth areas for the wrapper which has a strong retail investment base but some of the highest management fees for equity products.
Currently, issuers must distribute their ETFs via an Italian banking platform to sell their products to the wider market.
Similar deals have been made over the past year, including Franklin Templeton’s partnership with Italian trading platform Directa and Amundi’s deal with FinecoBank.