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Italy's Empire-Builder Bazoli Bows Out at Intesa, Ending Era

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The shareholders of Intesa Sanpaolo SpA gathering in the bank’s glass tower in Turin are turning the page on an era in Italian finance, bidding farewell to one of the country’s most prominent bankers.

Giovanni Bazoli, 83, a law professor turned dealmaker who transformed an institution wracked by scandal into Italy’s most valuable lender through a series of acquisitions, is retiring Wednesday as chairman of Intesa’s supervisory board. After trading the halls of academia for the executive suite more than three decades ago, the devout Catholic became a behind-the-scenes financier known for discipline, not drama.