UniCredit’s decision to replace CEO Federico Ghizzoni after almost six years at the helm paves the way for a strategy review that may include a capital increase and asset sales, according to analysts.
“UniCredit’s next CEO needs to take drastic measures including a capital increase and asset sales as first step,” said Massimiliano Romano, head of research at Concentric Italy. Ghizzoni’s departure “was an expected step considering that management hasn’t been able to address capital and profitability issues.”
Ghizzoni’s revised strategic plan, unveiled in November, was seen by some investors as not ambitious enough to shake off the bank’s status as one of Europe’s most poorly capitalized lenders. He has repeatedly ruled out selling shares, instead focusing on improving profit and selling assets as well as lowering costs through job cuts.
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