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Banking

UniCredit: Orcel draws a line under Mustier era

The bank’s new CEO signals openness to M&A, while flagging investment fees as a key profit driver this year.

UBS Group AG Investment Bank President Andrea Orcel Interview
Andrea Orcel. Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

UniCredit has placed the emphasis firmly on growth and revenues in its first results under new chief executive Andrea Orcel, signalling a shift from what he called a period of “active retrenchment”.

Regarding M&A, Orcel told analysts: “I do see it as an accelerator” – assuming it is in shareholders’ best interests and if the bank is confident in its ability to execute a deal.

With these words alone, Orcel drew a clear line under Jean Pierre Mustier’s term as CEO.

Mustier, who left the bank in February, repeated a mantra of “no M&A” even as M&A fever gripped Italy and southern Europe more widely last year.

Orcel was clear, however, that “M&A is not a purpose in itself”. He will spend the next few months getting to know the team and the bank, before unveiling a new strategic plan in the second half of the year.

Reinvigorating net interest income, building our top line and delivering strong organic capital are key priorities for the team
Andrea Orcel, UniCredit

However, his comments during the results, and indeed his new team’s presentation of their recent performance, already suggest a change in approach at UniCredit.

Orcel


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