UniCredit: No end to Mustier's tests
With progress made on profitability, the chief executive is turning to deep-seated organizational challenges
Jean Pierre Mustier is allowing no let-up in the relaunch of UniCredit after its €13 billion rights issue in the spring of 2017.
The share sale ended an immediate crisis of confidence over the bank’s capital position with impressive dexterity. It was the culmination of Mustier’s whirlwind return to the bank as chief executive in mid 2016.
His shock-and-awe tactics have brought a transformation in the market’s view of the pan-European lender. As the year drew to a close, even habitual bears Berenberg noted that costs and capital would beat the bank’s own 2017 targets.
On Project Fino – the €17.7 billion non-performing-loan securitization that was crucial to the success of the rights issue – progress has included ratings from DBRS and Moody’s, and the signing of definitive transfer agreements with investors Fortress and Pimco.
On the new business side, its trailblazing launch of instant payments between Germany and Italy in November brought new promise for its pan-European offering.
Mustier and his team are, however, well aware of the fundamental and difficult issues facing cross-border European commercial banks like UniCredit.