Bloomberg

March 2, 2017

UniCredit's Palenzona Resigns as a Vice Chairman in Board Revamp

Source: Bloomberg Terminal NSN OM787NSYF01S <GO>

By Dan Liefgreen and Chiara Albanese

​(Bloomberg) -- Fabrizio Palenzona, one of three vice chairmen of UniCredit SpA, Italy’s biggest bank, stepped down from the role as Chief Executive Officer Jean Pierre Mustier streamlines the firm’s corporate governance.

Palenzona, 63, is resigning with immediate effect while remaining on the board, Italy’s biggest bank said in a stock-exchange statement on Thursday. UniCredit, led by Chief Executive Officer Jean Pierre Mustier, announced changes to the lender’s corporate governance last December, including a recommendation that the number of vice chairmen be cut from three to one.

UniCredit’s other two vice chairmen on the 17-member board are Luca Cordero di Montezemolo and Vincenzo Calanda Buonaura.

Mustier, 56, has exited businesses ranging from banking in Poland to asset management and raised a record $13.8 billion from investors last month as part of a company-wide restructuring aimed at cutting costs and simplifying the bank’s structure.

"Mustier has been clear he wants a governance change,” said Mario Russo, analyst at North Square Blue Oak Ltd. in London. "Following the capital increase, from the chairman down people are affected."

Palenzona is a former chairman of Fondazione CRT, the foundation that was among the controlling shareholders of the Italian lender before it expanded through more than $60 billion of acquisitions across Europe between 2004 and 2007. At UniCredit, he has been a member of the internal controls and risks committee.

In 2015, Palenzona was among a group of the bank’s managers who were probed for alleged crimes related to the restructuring of a business suspected of association with the mafia. After a court annulled search and seizure orders, the managers won the continued backing of the board. Palenzona, through a lawyer, said the allegations were groundless.

Related ticker:

UCG IM (UniCredit SpA)

To contact the reporters on this story:

Dan Liefgreen in Milan at dliefgreen@bloomberg.net;

Chiara Albanese in Rome at calbanese10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:

Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net

Elisa Martinuzzi