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UniCredit Investors Propose Allianz’s Vita as Chairman

UniCredit SpA investors proposed Giuseppe Vita as the new chairman of Italy’s biggest bank, replacing Dieter Rampl.

The bank’s main shareholders reached agreement unanimously on the nomination at a meeting in Milan today, Massimo Paniccia, chairman of Fondazione CRTrieste, told reporters.

Vita, 76, is chairman of Allianz SE’s Italian unit, Allianz SpA. He is also chairman of investment bank Gruppo Banca Leonardo SpA. Vita is the second Allianz executive to be appointed to a prominent position at an Italian lender in the last six months. Allianz’s Enrico Cucchiani was named chief executive officer of Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, Italy’s No. 2 lender, in November. Cucchiani also was a UniCredit director.

The bank’s corporate governance, human resources and nomination committees decided that Vita “is the best candidate in terms of profile and requirements among the short list of highly professional candidates who have given their availability,” UniCredit said in a statement.

UniCredit CEO Federico Ghizzoni said last month that the Milan-based bank was seeking to recruit a new chairman with an international profile. Rampl announced in February that he wouldn’t stand for another term. A former head of HVB Group, Rampl was named to the post in 2006 after the German bank was purchased by UniCredit.

Gian Maria Gros Pietro, a former chairman of energy company Eni SpA, and Massimo Tononi, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker and chairman of the Italian Stock Exchange, also were mentioned by Italian newspapers as candidates for the UniCredit position.

UniCredit’s investors will vote to renew all board members, including the CEO, on May 11. They must submit the lists with candidates for the board, including the chairman, by April 16.

Vita is a graduate of the medical school at Rome’s La Sapienza University.

-Editors: Dan Liefgreen, Frank Connelly

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