UniCredit: Profumo looks to exploit his empire
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UniCredit: Profumo looks to exploit his empire

Alessandro Profumo has built his banking group through acquisitions, cementing his reputation as a brilliant dealmaker. The challenge facing UniCredit’s CEO is to get the most out of his empire. At the heart of the group’s strategy is aggressive organic growth in emerging Europe. Sudip Roy reports.

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Alessandro Profumo, UniCredit

"If, in 23 different countries, we are recognized as the best bank, our value will be significantly higher than it is today"
Alessandro Profumo, UniCredit

ALESSANDRO PROFUMO IS something of a rarity in the banking industry. The chief executive of UniCredit is one of a handful of bankers whose name is synonymous with the institution that he leads. It is hard to think of anyone else at the helm at the Italian bank other than the genial 51-year-old from Genoa. Profumo and UniCredit go hand in hand, just as his great European rival Emilio Botín and Banco Santander do.

Like Botín, Profumo, who became chief executive in 1997, has built one of the world’s biggest banking empires in a relatively short time through daring acquisitions. While Botín has focused predominantly on Latin America and the UK for his bank’s growth, Profumo has concentrated his efforts on continental Europe, old and new.

In 10 years, he has transformed UniCredit from a domestic player with total assets of about €170 billion to a pan-European financial institution with a €1 trillion balance sheet.

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