The losses of Unicredit exceeded the expectations of the market, closing 2020 with a loss of 2.8 billion. The result was affected by the provisions for 5 billion in loan adjustments, a measure adopted to cope with the impact of the pandemic crisis. Outgoing CEO Jean-Pierre Mustier yesterday presented his latest financial statements to the board of directors noting for the extraordinary result achieved at the underlying profit level of 1.3 billion in 2020, with a growth forecast of 3 billion in 2021 . The underlying net profit does not take into account some extraordinary items such as integration costs in Italy (-1.272 billion in the first quarter of 2020) or the deconsolidation of the Turkish Yapi Kredi (-1.576 billion also in the first quarter of 2020). Even in a complicated exercise, Mustier has inherited a capital solidity index (Cet1) of 15.08, the highest ever.
As expected, after having identified Andrea Orcel as the new CEO, the board resolved the relationship with Mustier, who left his office in Piazza Gae Aulenti this morning, two months before the formal deadline in April. And the French manager himself has led Unicredit as ceo and general manager for the past five years to welcome his successor. Andrea Orcel will join the bank after the shareholders’ meeting in April – wrote Mustier in the note on the balance sheet -. Andrea brings to the group a wealth of experience and an extraordinary series of results in international finance. It has all the numbers to guide UniCredit in the next stage of its journey.
To take up the baton, and all the proxies, in the vacatio between the two CEOs Ranieri De Marchis, appointed protempore general manager, as allowed by the bank’s statute. The current co-chief operating officer (role shared with Carlo Vivaldi according to the co-head scheme adopted in the first line by Mustier) began his career as a financial analyst at Italcable and then moved to Procter & Gamble in the late 1980s . In 1990 he joined General Electric and in 2003 he joined UniCredit as the group’s chief financial officer. In 2009, he was appointed head of audit and internal control activities, a position he held until August 2016. With his vast experience, Ranieri will guarantee operational continuity and the continuation of our commitment to achieving the group’s objectives, President Cesare Bisoni, who is also expiring, wrote on the appointment of Andrea Orcel. As is well known, with the renewal, the former Minister of the Economy Pier Carlo Padoan will assume the presidency of the group which is preparing, among others, for the challenge of mergers. It is premature to talk about future strategies as Mustier and the financial director Stefano Porro cut short in a call with the press agencies. For the time being, only the timing of Orcel’s agenda is obvious: first the team, then the choices. And Unicredit limited itself to observing the outgoing CEO, well positioned to face the challenges. A signal may have already arrived yesterday with the 90 million five-year loan for sustainability granted to Prada.
By combining ordinary and extraordinary distributions, the bank will pay shareholders a total of 1.1 billion this year, consisting of share buybacks for 0.8 billion and cash dividends of 0.3 billion. An extraordinary distribution of capital of 652 million in the form of buy-backs of own shares is planned for 2021. The proposal will be submitted to the shareholders in April with implementation after 1 October 2021.