In a significant shareholder vote on Saturday, Mediobanca Chief Executive Alberto Nagel successfully secured a new three-year mandate, reaffirming his position despite opposition from the bank’s largest investor.
Nagel, who has been at the helm of Mediobanca since 2008, and his allies managed to retain control of the company.
Under Nagel’s leadership, Mediobanca underwent a strategic shift, moving away from its historical role as a financial holding company.
The bank expanded its operations in wealth management and consumer credit through strategic acquisitions.
However, this strategy had faced criticism, particularly from the late Leonardo Del Vecchio, whose holding company, Delfin, held a substantial 19.7% stake in Mediobanca.
Del Vecchio, an Italian billionaire who passed away last year, had accused Nagel of being too cautious in expanding the bank’s business and obstructing growth at insurer Generali, in which Mediobanca held the largest shareholder position.
Three separate lists of board candidates were presented before the shareholder meeting in Milan, which saw participation from shareholders representing 76.8% of the bank’s capital, the highest percentage in a decade.
Ultimately, 52.6% of voting shareholders (equivalent to 40.4% of the bank’s capital) supported the slate submitted by Mediobanca’s outgoing board, securing a new term for Nagel and 12 out of 15 board seats.
Nagel garnered support from a group of Italian shareholders holding a combined 10.9% stake in Mediobanca, as well as numerous institutional investors.
Delfin, managed by Del Vecchio’s former right-hand man Francesco Milleri, secured two seats on the board from the five nominees it had put forward.
Previously, Delfin had no representation on the outgoing board.
Nagel expressed satisfaction at Delfin’s involvement and welcomed critical voices, viewing them as beneficial for the bank. Delfin’s list garnered 32% of the total capital in the vote.
A third list, submitted by a small group of institutional investors, claimed the remaining seat.
While Delfin did not directly challenge Nagel’s position, its decision to field its own candidates added a level of uncertainty and could have resulted in a fragmented board had it received the most votes.
Nagel is expected to be formally confirmed as CEO at an upcoming board meeting, while Renato Pagliaro will continue in his role as chairman, a position he has held since 2010.
Nagel informed shareholders that Mediobanca intended to retain its 13% stake in Generali unless a significant acquisition opportunity arose that could be funded using Generali shares.