UniCredit Names Papa General Manager in First Step to Revamp

  • Fiorentino, Mingrone to leave, Natale to head strategy
  • CEO Mustier says appointments will streamline organization

UniCredit SpA overhauled its top management, elevating the head of its investment bank to general manager, as Italy’s largest lender began a promised revamp under its new chief executive officer.

Gianni Franco Papa, currently one of three deputy general managers and head of the corporate and investment banking division, will be responsible for all business-related activities starting in September, UniCredit said in a statement on Tuesday. That makes him second only to Chief Executive Officer Jean Pierre Mustier in the hierarchy.

His two colleagues -- Paolo Fiorentino and Bernar8do Mingrone -- will leave the company, while Marina Natale will head strategy and mergers and acquisitions during a strategy review. The new structure reduces the number of people reporting directly to the CEO, leaving him with direct oversight of several departments including strategy, risk management and compliance.

“My objective is to streamline and improve its efficiency,” Mustier said in the statement. "Thanks to a leaner structure, shorter reporting lines and increased accountability, we will foster a culture of strong risk and cost discipline and focused execution."

UniCredit has struggled to improve profitability and meet capital requirements, a task compounded by a complex structure spread across 17 countries, a pile of soured loans and record-low interest rates. Mustier, a 55-year-old Frenchman who took over on July 12, says the solution lies in cutting costs and simplifying the bank’s structure. In his first week on the job, the bank sold stakes in Poland’s Bank Pekao SA and online lender FinecoBank SpA, raising more than $1 billion.

“This is positive news, because investors were asking for a wider management overhaul to break with the past,” said Wolfram Mrowetz, chairman of Alisei SIM, a Milan brokerage. “This is the first step to conducting a broader review of the bank’s strategy.”

Below a summary of job changes. All appointments take effect on Sept. 1.

UP

* Gianni Franco Papa becomes general manager responsible for business related activities. Current role: deputy general manager, head of CIB
* Ranieri de Marchis becomes co-chief operating officer responsible for IT and operational activities. Current role: head of internal audit
* Francesco Giordano becomes co-chief operating officer responsible for cost management, purchasing, real estate and finance. Current role: chief financial
officer of HVB
* Mirko Bianchi becomes group CFO. Current role: CFO of Bank Austria
* Andrea Casini becomes co-head of Italian network. Current role: General manager for the Bulgaria business
* Giovanni Ronca becomes co-head of Italian network. Current role: head of the New York branch
* Gianfranco Bisagni becomes co-head of CIB. Current role: deputy co-head of CIB
* Olivier Khayat, deputy co-head of CIB, becomes co-head of CIB. Current role: deputy co-head of CIB

Down

* Paolo Fiorentino, deputy general manager responsible for IT will leave
* Bernardo Mingrone, group CFO will leave
* Gabriele Piccini, head of Italy will take up another position
* Marina Natale, deputy general manager responsible for accounting, mergers and acquisitions, becomes head of strategy and M&A during the restructuring

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