Mediobanca Securities Names New Head, Strengthens London Team

Mediobanca SpA, Italy’s biggest publicly traded investment bank, named a new head of its brokerage unit as the company strengthens its European equity coverage in London at a time when lower trading volumes and commissions are prompting closures at competitors.

The Milan-based bank named Paolo Cuniberti, 48, currently chief of Capital Market Solutions since the London branch’s opening in July 2008, as head of Mediobanca Securities, replacing Matteo Maralla, according to an e-mailed statement sent to Bloomberg News. Maralla, 46, was appointed head of Equity Capital Markets Syndicate.

The broker plans to expand its European equity coverage in September by adding a research team for insurers, which will be led by Marc Thiele, former head of the insurance research team at UBS AG, according to the statement. Mediobanca Securities set up its European banking research team in London in 2010 under the leadership of Antonio Guglielmi, head of equity research.

Mediobanca was voted the second-best brokerage firm in Italy in the 2012 Thomson Extel survey. UniCredit closed its equity brokerage in western Europe in November, cutting jobs in London and Milan, and hired Kepler Capital Markets SA to provide the research related to the region. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said in January it would pull out of equities and mergers advice globally, while Credit Agricole SA is weighing options for its CA Cheuvreux brokerage unit.

Guglielmi’s forecast last year that French and Italian bank shares would plummet made him one of the world’s top 20 financial stock pickers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Markets for its annual ranking of analysts and their firms.

The company also said it named Dominic Bidwell as head of sales trading and cash equity trading. Bidwell recently joined Mediobanca Securities in London from Evolution Securities Ltd. Patrick Peris, who has previously worked for Merrill Lynch & Co. and Morgan Stanley and recently joined Mediobanca’s Paris branch, will be responsible for distributing Mediobanca services in France.

Mediobanca Securities has more than 200 institutional clients that operate on a constant basis, according to the company’s website. About 60 percent of revenue of the brokerage’s top 50 clients comes from the U.K., the U.S., France, Germany and Switzerland.

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