Global FinTech Guide
Country Name
Asset and portfolio management
FinTechs belonging to this category offer asset and portfolio management services via an internet platform or software programs and usually manage and dispose of the assets of their customers long or short term according to their specifications without actually holding the property or the possession of those assets. FinTechs, which provide information about and access to overnight or time deposit accounts at national and foreign banks and which execute the transactions to these accounts, also belong to this category. Some FinTechs however only act on request of the customer.

Aside from that some FinTechs offer software or internet solutions enabling users to manage and plan their personal finances on their own by providing graphics, overviews and compilations of their financial data and sometimes indicating financial risks or opportunities, but without actually managing the assets.


Attitude of the country towards modern asset and portfolio management services

Asset and portfolio management are mostly provided by firms who belong to prominent banking groups (so called “captive asset managers”). Recently, new, independent players from the FinTech environments are emerging (e.g. MoneyFarm).

Asset and portfolio management are subject to prior authorisation and are regulated by the Bank of Italy and Italian Securities and Exchanges Commission (Commissione Nazionale Società e Borsa CONSOB).

Legal affairs

Obligations and requirements to provide asset and portfolio management, or ancillary services described above

Certain services provided by FinTech companies could amount to regulated activities, under Italian law. In particular, asset and portfolio management services, execution of orders on behalf of clients and investment advice, when they are related to investment services and activities and are provided on a professional basis to the public, fall under the definition of investment services/activities provided by Section 1, paragraph 5, of the Italian Consolidated Financial Law (Legislative Decree no. 58 of February, 24th 1998 – Testo unico delle disposizioni in materia finanziariaTUF). Only authorised entities can provide investment services/activities to the public. Such entities are banks, investment companies and other intermediaries that may be authorised to provide specific investment services/activities. Requirements regarding financial reserves apply depending on the regulated subject providing the services and on the type of provided service. Ancillary services and connected/instrumental activities may be generally exercised without the need of ad hoc authorisation by authorised entities.

Additional comments regarding the legal situation for asset and portfolio management services or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area

Companies established in another EU Member State may provide investment services and activities (including asset and portfolio management services) in Italy under the European passport regime by establishing a branch or also under the regime of the freedom to provide services in the EU. In this case, the legislation of the home country shall generally apply. However, lessened fulfillments shall be carried out. In particular, the establishment of a first branch or the provision of services under the regime of the freedom to provide services in the EU must be preceded by a communication to CONSOB submitted by the competent authority of the Member State where the company is established. In case a branch is established, the requesting company can start providing the relevant investment services/activities starting from two (2) months after the notification.

Economic conditions

Market size for asset and portfolio management services and biggest companies in this business area

The local market of asset and portfolio management is relatively small if compared to other European countries. It has, however, been increasing over the last years.
According to Assogestioni, the Italian industry’s association, the assets under management exceeded EUR 7 billion. 

The biggest players operate in the real estate and UCITS sectors, while only a few local firms do business in the private equity and hedge funds fields. New asset classes are also rising, due the economic and regulatory contexts (see Section 4 below).

Asset and portfolio management companies are normally held by local banking groups. A noticeable transaction indeed involved the sale by UniCredit (a prominent Italian bank) of a relevant stake in Pioneer, its asset management division, to Crédit Agricole (one of the biggest EU banking players), which took place recently. 

Additional comments regarding the economic situation for asset and portfolio management services or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area

Due to distressed economic conditions and tightened prudential requirements, local credit institutions are increasingly selling off non-performing and “unlikely to pay” loans (the so called, respectively, NPLs and UTPs). Those assets are typically purchased by local and foreign asset managers, often by means of securitisation transactions, which is resulting in a significant local secondary market for those asset classes.




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The information in this guide provides a general overview at the time of publication and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all legal developments nor should it be taken as opinion or legal advice on the matters covered. It is for general information purposes only and readers should take legal advice from a Multilaw member firm.


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