BlackRock is predicting Italian wealth managers are set to increase allocations to ETFs and index funds amid the changing regulatory environment and evolving investor needs.

The world’s largest asset manager said there is a greater awareness of “value for money” among Italian wealth managers.

In particular, BlackRock highlighted four factors that will significantly accelerate the adoption of ETFs and index funds over the next two years.

Firstly, more and more wealth managers are centralising investment processes and asset allocation decisions with the use of models and solutions.

This is occurring in line with the introduction of MiFID II, which has shone a light on costs for individual products and therefore favouring index funds and ETFs.

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Another factor is index funds and ETFs enable a more granular understanding of the different sources of performance.

Italian wealth managers are increasingly looking to combine strategies between alpha, indexed and factor solutions.

Elsewhere, amid the digitalisation of asset management, the firm said indexed solutions can provide the “bricks” for scalable solutions based on changing investment styles.

Finally, the final factor is Italian wealth managers are increasingly organised to provide solutions using ETFs and index funds meaning their usage is set to increase.

Andrea Favero (pictured), head of iShares wealth, Italy, at BlackRock, commented: “Our role as an issuer and partner in the development of solutions is providing our clients with the best possible tools for creating efficient portfolios.

“We continue to closely monitor the evolution of requests from our clients as we are aware of the changes taking place in the industry.”

Renato Zaffuto, CIO of Fideuram Investimenti SGR, added: “The use of ETFs is increasing. In our new suite of portfolios, we offer portfolios built with funds, securities and also a significant amount of ETFs.”

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Gianmarco Zannetti, director of EuroAdvisorySIM, concluded: “There is a different approach in the construction of portfolios. We now have a big allocation towards securities and ETFs or index funds and are very selective with our active managers.”