The marriage of Italy’s Unicredit and Capitalia creates the Eurozone’s biggest bank, but the Capitalia name disappears and it is Unicredit’s employees taking the black leather chairs.
Alessandro Profumo remains chief executive, and is confident it is the right deal at the right time; “We are present in 20 countries, and Italy’s one of them. Italian companies are very concerned about internationalisation, and with this merger we can help them grow”.
The only survivor from Capitalia is its boss, Cesare Geronzi, now a vice president; “Unicredit couldn’t remain a mainly foreign-based bank, it needed some balance in Italy in my opinion, and he agreed with me. Plus we couldn’t stay small and independent”.
Unicredit thus joins the 100 billion club, and becomes the world’s number six bank in the all-share deal, which had Italian government support. It marks the near-completion of consolidation in Italy’s banking sector, hopefully creating a globalisation go-getter and keeping the capital in Italian hands.