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Mustier tightens grip on UniCredit with Papa exit

UniCredit lifer and top Italian speaker to step down as number two; Khayat and Bisagni take wider commercial roles as Burton becomes CIB head.

General manager Gianni Papa’s departure from UniCredit sees the exit of its most senior career insider – and its most senior Italian executive – ahead of a series of strategic decisions due later this year. He is due to step down on June 1.


Gianni Papa

Papa’s exit is the most important move in a senior-management reshuffle, unveiled on Wednesday, ahead of the bank’s new three-year strategic plan, which it is preparing to unveil in December.

Investors will be watching that plan for any big changes, including the bank’s openness to potential acquisitions, or sales of parts of its operations. The plan is being put together in the context of Italy’s economy slipping back into recession, although UniCredit continues to post operational successes, with results coming ahead of market expectations in the fourth quarter, according to research from Jefferies.

Papa’s exit shows Mustier is tightening his grip on the decision-making process, and who will implement the changes. The reshuffle will result in less direct reporting lines to the chief executive so he can focus on strategy, according to the bank.

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