Bank of America Corp. (BAC) is in talks to hire former Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA Chief Executive Officer Luigi Gubitosi for a senior role in Italian investment banking, three people with knowledge of the discussions said.
Bank of America, the second-largest U.S. lender by assets, is seeking to boost its presence in Italy after southern Europe head Maurizio Tamagnini left the firm in September, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private.
Discussions with Gubitosi, including his exact role, are continuing and may not lead to his hiring, the people said. The bank is also still in talks with other candidates, that may be as senior as country executive, one of the people said.
Banks may be poised to reap fees from advising Italy on selling assets as the nation struggles to reduce borrowings. Bank of America, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, ranks fifth among underwriters of stock offerings by Italian companies in the past two years, and eighth in advising on mergers in the country, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Italy is seeking to restore confidence that it can cut its 1.9 trillion-euro ($2.6 trillion) debt load, the European Union’s second-largest relative to economic output. The yield on Italy’s 10-year bond jumped to 6.77 percent today, the most since at least 1999 and near the 7 percent level that drove Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek international bailouts.
Gubitosi, 50, left Wind, Italy’s third-biggest mobile-phone company, in April after holding the CEO post for 5 1/2 years. He joined Wind from Fiat SpA (F), Italy’s biggest carmaker, where he was chief financial officer.
A spokeswoman for Bank of America in London declined to comment. Gubitosi, reached by e-mail, also declined to comment.