It has more than 1,550 financial partners and record figures of net inflows and consolidated profit. It has one objective: to take its total assets under management to €50 bn, even with a strong commitment in foreign markets
Independence, partnerships and international expansion are what make Azimut an outstanding player in the asset management industry. «Azimut is built on a distinctive, unique business model that involves independence from banking, insurance and industrial groups, integration between management and distribution, and partnerships with financial partners, managers and staff who are shareholders as well as running things», stated the chairman and Ceo Pietro Giuliani. «Together with our constant growth, more than five years ago this gave us the courage to broaden our horizons and start operating on a truly international basis (we are now present in 14 countries, many of which are emerging markets), so that we can offer our clients products that are global but still conceived and created by us».
Giuliani’s words carry a lot of weight, not just because of his role within the company but also because Azimut can be seen as his creation. Although the first management company named Azimut was founded as part of the Akros Group in the late 1980s (the first fund was called Azimut Bilanciato and it was launched in 1989), the plans for a cluster of asset management companies took shape in 1991, just a few months after the arrival of Giuliani, who was 34 at the time. In 1991, the number of promoters in the distribution network increased from 60 to 250. The net inflows reached 1,000 bn lire, instantly making the company one of the market leaders. Today there are more than 1,550 professional financial partners in the network and the holding company is churning out record-breaking numbers: the company ended 2015 with net inflows of € 6.7 bn and in the first nine months of the year the consolidated net profit was up by 69% on the same period in 2014 to € 208.1 mn, which is an all-time record high for Azimut and outstripped the total figure for the whole of the previous year.
Another of Azimut’s distinguishing features is its ability to make quick decisions, thanks in part to the integration between the management and distribution underlined by Giuliani. Direct contact between the group’s fund managers in different countries and the financial advisers enables it to respond flexibly to changes in the market. On top of this it is able to offer products that are designed and created in-house using its global vision of economic and financial cycles, so it is easy to understand why Azimut quickly became a unique part of the asset management industry. «Thanks to our strategy, in the last four years we have doubled our total assets under management, taking them to € 36.7 bn by the end of 2015. We constantly increase the group’s net inflows every year. Our objective is to continue growing like this in the coming years, so that we can achieve the goal in our business plan and take the total assets to € 50 bn and the profit to € 300 mn by the end of 2019, while also – if the markets are conducive to it – continuing the trend of the last 20 years, during which the weighted average net performance for our clients has always exceeded that of our competitors by more than 1% a year», emphasized Giuliani.
Distribution of Azimut products is organized around four business areas: networks, wealth management, institutional and international. Azimut Wealth Management in particular was founded to cater specifically to the needs of top-end clients. It now has a team of 220 and a multi-family office business model with an open products and services platform that allows the wealth managers to assist clients with the management of their personal, family and company assets. The Azimut Group was listed in 2004 and it has been part of Borsa Italiana’s FTSE Mib index for five years. In addition to Italy, it is now present in Luxembourg, Ireland, Switzerland, Monaco, Turkey, China (Hong Kong and Shanghai), Taiwan, Brazil, Singapore, Mexico and Australia, as well as Chile, where it started a company recently.