Italian asset manager Azimut Group has agreed to acquire a 20% stake in Mofid Entekhab, an Iran-based independent asset management firm, for an undisclosed sum.

Set up in 2016, Entekhab is part of Iranian brokerage and financial advisory firm Mofid Group, which will remain the majority shareholder in Entekhab. At the end of September 2017, Entekhab managed assets of $89m in six mutual funds and managed accounts.

At the same time, Azimut and Mofid Securities inked a shareholders agreement to develop an onshore financial advisory platform, as well as launch an offshore fund for foreign investors.

By participating in a pro rata capital increase, Azimut will help Entekhab develop new investment strategies in local asset classes, and build a local trained sales force offering financial advisory and wealth management service.

Azimut CEO Sergio Albarelli said: “Today we are making a historical first step for a global player entering the Iranian financial market. We see the Group to pioneer the untapped opportunities of a frontier market which has in fact the full credentials of a large advanced emerging market.

“Mofid adds to its undisputable market leadership a multi decade reputation in brokerage and asset management services, sharing a common base with Azimut core values of independence and commitment to performance.”