Gamco's Gabelli Says Fund Firm Sees Opportunity to Grow in Italy

  • U.S. money manager may seek to open an office in Milan: CEO
  • Country offers enticing mix of financial services, innovation

Gamco Investors Inc.’s Mario Gabelli, one of the most prominent U.S. money managers, is “enthusiastic” about boosting his firm’s presence in Italy.

“We would consider opening an office in Milan,” Gabelli, chief executive officer of Rye, New York-based Gamco, said in an interview. “We have been servicing Italian clients since the mid-1970s, and since 2009 on a dedicated basis, and are enthusiastic about growing our presence in Italy in the future.”

The country’s mix of entrepreneurship, innovation and financial services will have a positive impact on its economy for years to come, according to the fund manager. Gamco, with about $40 billion in assets under management, has its only European offices in London.

“It would be our privilege to at some point be integrated into this dynamic,” Gabelli said, declining to comment on the timeline for a potential office launch.

Luxottica, Brembo

Gabelli, 74, said the firm will continue to offer investors a range of UCITS, or mutual funds based in the European Union, focused on capital growth and preservation.

In Italy, he said he sees particular value in mid-sized stocks. Eyewear maker Luxottica Group SpA, equipment supplier Interpump Group SpA and brake manufacturer Brembo SpA are among the Gabelli Funds’ favored holdings.

“We like companies with cash flow capabilities and a global skill set,” Gabelli said.

The money manager also owns shares of dairy company Parmalat SpA, vocally opposing a recent buyout bid by France’s Groupe Lactalis SA. Lactalis failed in March to reach the 90 percent threshold needed to delist the company.

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