NU Online News Service, July 27, 10:05 a.m. – Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, N.J., is teaming up with Banca Popolare di Bergamo-Credito Varesino, Milan, one of the 10 largest banking groups in Italy, to form an asset-management joint venture in Italy.

Prudential has agreed to ask Italian regulators for permission to acquire a “significant interest” in Banca Finanzattiva Gestione SGR, the bank’s asset management business.

Prudential and Banca Popolare plan to start a joint venture, BPB Prumerica Global Investments SGR, which will develop, manage, market and sell investment products and services to Italian retail and institutional customers.

Prumerica Life, a Prudential life insurance subsidiary, has been operating in Italy for 10 years. The new joint venture will not affect the life operation, Prudential says.

Prudential says the Banco Popolare agreement marks its first effort to enter the Italian asset-management market.

Prudential says it will provide 5% of the capital needed to start the venture, its Prumerica and Rock logo brands, and its experience with developing, marketing and managing investment assets.

Prudential has an option to increase its ownership stake to 35% in the next few years, the company says.

Prudential has also established investments businesses in Japan, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan in recent months as part of its global expansion strategy.