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Mustier makes his mark on UniCredit

UniCredit CEO Jean-Pierre Mustier has unveiled his new strategic plan for the bank. At its heart is a €13 billion rights issue. But look deeper and Mustier is at pains to stress UniCredit’s European, rather than Italian, credentials. He’ll need to convince shareholders that this time the bank has a real prospect of breaking free of the country’s bad debt troubles.

Jean-Pierre Mustier lectern-600
UniCredit CEO Jean-Pierre Mustier

Just after Jean-Pierre Mustier rejoined UniCredit as CEO in July 2016, he attended an event organized by a leading Italian entrepreneur, who told Mustier that he did business with UniCredit not only because it was an Italian bank but because it had a large international network and was therefore able to support his development outside the country.

On another occasion Mustier heard a slightly different story, although no less positive. A client spent time telling him forcefully that his firm had done business with UniCredit for 50 years and was planning to do so for another 50 years. The client was a Mittelstand firm in Germany. 

It was with these two anecdotes that Mustier opened UniCredit’s marathon capital markets day in London on December 13. For him, the two stories illustrate a key point about the nature of UniCredit: in Italy, the bank is welcomed for the international reach it can provide domestic clients; on the other side of the Alps, it is seen as a local bank that is firmly integrated into the German economy.

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