MILAN (AP) — Italian bank UniCredit said Wednesday that Andrea Orcel, one of Europe’s leading investment bankers, will replace outgoing CEO Jean Pierre Mustier, who offered his resignation last month over strategic differences with the board.
Orcel, a 57-year-old Italian, faces a shareholder vote before being confirmed in the role running Italy’s largest bank by assets.
Orcel spent 20 years at Merrill Lynch, where he helped manage some of the biggest bank mergers in Europe, including the merger of Credito Italiano and UniCredito to form UniCredit in 1998.
He most recently ran the UBS Investment bank from 2014-2018 and was slated to take over Spanish bank Santander in 2018, but ended up in a dispute over compensation.
Orcel will work alongside incoming chairman Pier Carlo Padoan, a former Italian finance minister who called Orcel “a strong international leader. “
“He has a vast breadth of experience and exceptional strategic judgement, which will be essential in leading UniCredit into the future,” Padoan said.
Mustier steered the bank to financial fitness through a rigorous restructuring plan. But the French executive has more recently been under pressure to merge with the weakened Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena. In announcing he would step down, he underlined that his current strategy “and its core pillars no longer correspond to the board’s current thinking.”