Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP) Supervisory Board Chairman Giovanni Bazoli is scheduled to meet with Chief Executive Officer Enrico Cucchiani next week as at least one of the bank’s top three investors wants to push him out, people familiar with the matter said.
Bazoli, 80, may meet Cucchiani either Sept. 29 or Sept. 30, when the CEO of Italy’s second-largest bank by assets returns from a business trip to New York, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The discussion may be crucial to decide whether Cucchiani still has the support of investors before a regularly scheduled board meeting Oct. 1, according to two people.
Cucchiani, 63, frequently doesn’t involve other executives before making key decisions and instead relies on external consultants, according to three people.
The Financial Times reported Sept. 24 that friction between Cucchiani and Bazoli has emerged and the CEO could be ousted. A spokesman for Milan-based Intesa declined to comment.
The lender’s three largest shareholders are banking foundations, Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione Cariplo and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo. They own a combined stake of 19 percent. Officials at Compagnia di San Paolo and Fondazione Cariparo declined to comment, while Giuseppe Guzzetti, chairman of the Cariplo foundation told reporters in Rome earlier this week he wasn’t aware of any tension.
Cucchiani, a former member of Allianz SE (ALV)’s management board, was appointed CEO in 2011, replacing Corrado Passera, who left the bank to become a minister in the Italian cabinet of former Prime Minister Mario Monti. He beat out Intesa’s two general managers, Gaetano Micciche and Marco Morelli, who had been described as the front-runners by Italian newspapers.
Intesa has risen 23 percent since Cucchiani took the helm on Dec. 22, 2011, compared with a 43 percent increase of the Bloomberg Banks and Financial Services Index. Intesa’s second-quarter profit slumped to 116 million euros ($157 million) from 470 million euros a year earlier after non-performing loans rose amid an economic recession.
Cucchiani also is a former director at UniCredit SpA (UCG), Italy’s biggest bank, and worked at McKinsey & Co., Gucci Group and Italian insurer Lloyd Adratico SpA.
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