Pioneer Investments' Italian parent, UniCredit, tapped Federico Ghizzoni as its new CEO. He fills the shoes vacated by Profumo Alessandro last week.
It's unclear what impact, if any, Ghizzoni's appointment would have on the fate of Pioneer. In May, UniCredit bigwigs said they hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch to explore all strategic options for Pioneer.
Company Press Release
Federico Ghizzoni appointed new Chief Executive Officer of UniCredit
The Board of Directors of UniCredit SpA, today in Warsaw, has unanimously co-opted and appointed Federico Ghizzoni as new CEO of the Group. As CEO, Federico Ghizzoni is a member by right of both the Permanent & Strategic Committee and the Corporate Governance, Human Resources & Nomination Committee of UniCredit.
Federico Ghizzoni, 55, has served as Deputy CEO of UniCredit and Deputy CEO of Bank Austria. In 1980, he joined UniCredit (at that time Credito Italiano) and has since worked for the company while serving, among other places, in the UK, Singapore, Turkey and Poland. In July 2007, he was appointed Head of Poland's Markets Division at UniCredit, Head of CEE Banking Operations and Board Member responsible for the CEE Banking Division at Bank Austria AG. Ghizzoni played a major part in the development of UniCredit's CEE franchise, strengthening the bond between UniCredit and the Group's major CEE markets. Under his auspices, UniCredit was named "Best Bank in CEE" by the magazine The Banker in 2009.
When considering the candidacy of the new CEO, the Nomination Committee took a number of qualifications into account, including strong leadership, capacity of teambuilding, an excellent understanding of international financial services, organizational skills and deep knowledge of the company structure. The Board of Directors came to the unanimous conclusion that Ghizzoni met all of the criteria, making him the best person to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of UniCredit.
Dieter Rampl, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UniCredit, commented:
"Federico has a deep knowledge of the Group and a strong reputation, internally and externally. His constant and close interaction with policymakers, regulators, international organizations and market participants makes him ideally suited for managing UniCredit's relations with all key stakeholders. This is particularly important during these times, when regulatory and institutional frameworks are still evolving, and financial markets remain exposed to possible swings in volatility. Furthermore, his impressive qualities as both a leader and a team player will enable him to leverage UniCredit's strong human capital to the maximum benefit of all our stakeholders."
Chairman Rampl added: "Federico will continue to advance UniCredit's position as a leading European bank – a position that was maintained under the leadership of his predecessor, Alessandro Profumo. His appointment as CEO further underscores our long-term commitment to Central and Eastern Europe, a region with strong growth potential. Moreover, his deep understanding of our Italian home market and his extensive international experience make him the best person to lead UniCredit through a challenging economic and financial environment that is becoming increasingly and irreversibly globalized."
As Federico Ghizzoni himself stated:
"I am honored to have been asked by the Board to be the Chief Executive of UniCredit. Having served 30 years in the Group, I am enthusiastic to confront the challenges ahead. As an international bank with a strong foothold in 22 countries and a European focus in terms of management, products, customer services and market access, UniCredit is uniquely positioned to support the financial needs of our global customer base. It is an exciting task to build upon UniCredit's position and I look forward to working with the Management Team to realize the enormous potential of our Group."
Together with the new CEO the Board will study in the coming weeks the best leadership model for the Group and a proper allocation of functions, taking into account the professional skills and excellencies of the individuals in the management-team, who have most contributed to the successful development of the Group.