Profumo wins key backing for top job at MPS bank

Alessandro Profumo, the former chief executive of UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank by assets, is to become chairman of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the third largest bank in Italy, after winning the support of its top shareholder.

The appointment, due to be announced in April, is all but certain after the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which holds a controlling stake of 49% the bank’s shares, agreed to put forward Profumo as their candidate for the role.

The appointment comes at a difficult time for the bank, with a number of difficult decisions to be made. These include how to reduce its debts of €1bn; how to meet demands from the European Banking Authority to build up its balance sheet by €3.2bn; and how to ensure that the proposed sale of a 15% stake in the bank does not go to foreign or ‘hostile’ interests.

Profumo, who comes with the reputation for a tough management style, will also have to face a restive workforce, who last week went on strike for the first time in 20 years in protest at cuts imposed by other new arrival at the bank, director-general Fabrizio Viola. 

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