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Opinion

The path from bank CEO to Spac

Must all former chief executives eventually form a special purpose acquisition company?

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It is becoming like one of the seven ages of man.

A banker begins life shouting on the trading floor, then battles for power in the investment bank, before overseeing the whole institution.

As a final act, it seems that all top bankers must now form a special purpose acquisition company (Spac).

That is what the typical late-stage career of the successful CEO appears to be in the 2020s.

First was Sergio Ermotti, who became chair of Investindustrial Acquisition Corp immediately after stepping down as UBS’ chief executive in November.

Then it was Tidjane Thiam, the former CEO who left Credit Suisse a year ago. News broke in January that he was setting up a $250 million Spac with backing from JPMorgan.

Ex-Commerzbank CEO Martin Blessing is also reportedly setting up an Amsterdam-listed Spac to invest in European financial services.

Could Jean Pierre Mustier, a former classmate of Thiam, be next?

Once he has stepped down as UniCredit’s CEO after its fourth-quarter results on February 11, Mustier may be keen to go down a more entrepreneurial route; he has form as a non-bank financier from his time at Tikehau Capital in the mid 2010s.

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