UniCredit to boost board’s diversity, technology skills

Business

Italy’s No. 2 bank UniCredit plans to appoint more women to its board, including Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the former head of Virgin Money and founder of open banking fintech Snoop.

UniCredit on Wednesday approved a slate of nominees for the board’s renewal, saying it wanted to boost diversity and focus on technology and sustainability.

The bank is in the midst of a leadership change after Chief Executive Jean Pierre Mustier fell out with the board over strategy and stepped down last month, to be replaced in April by Andrea Orcel, the former head of investment banking at Swiss bank UBS.

In addition to Gadhia, a prominent figure in Britain’s financial industry, UniCredit’s outgoing board has put forward as new director Jeffrey Hedberg, a telecoms expert currently at the helm of phone group Wind Tre.

New entries also include Allianz director Renate Wagner and Luca Molinari who is in charge of financial services at Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Mubadala, a UniCredit investor.

UniCredit had already picked as its new chairman Pier Carlo Padoan, a former International Monetary Fund executive director.

Shareholders gather to appoint the new board on April 15.

UniCredit confirmed in their role as directors another three women, academic Elena Carletti, former BBVA Chief Innovation Officer Beatriz Lara Bartolome and former S&P executive Maria Pierdicchi.

UniCredit’s 45% female presence on the new board matches the average for France, and tops the UK’s 34% and Spain’s 24%, the bank said in slides on its website.

The board will comprise 13 members, of which 11 were selected by outgoing directors, down from 14 previously.

UniCredit, which has operations also in Germany, Austria and eastern Europe, is Italy’s only bank deemed of global systemic significance by regulators.