Ceo Carlo Messina presents results, best ever, because he has built in house “product factories” (starting with insurance), because he supports the leading industrial sectors and is more prudent than necessary in credit adjustments and provisions. It has the quiet strength to call for the explicit reappointment of Gros Pietro, point to Emanuele Orsini as the best candidate for Confindustria, and announce that it wants to weigh in at Abi. And they do not forget about helping the weakest, with €1.5 billion dedicated
by Carlo Gesualdo
Analysts and journalists should be cool and aloof, but they could not help but appreciate, talking among themselves and then writing about it, the quiet strength with which Carlo Messina explained the results of Italy’s and Europe’s most important bank: absolutely remarkable numbers on profit and cash dividends (7.7 billion the former, 5.4 the latter), but numbers achieved with a billion more in provisions and a billion more in loan adjustments (e.g., compared to Unicredit, which had instead focused everything on profit and its total distribution to shareholders, almost blandishing them).
Not surprisingly, Messina complimented his friend-contractor Andrea Orcel, yet emphasized Intesa’s different model, which sets aside in three months what Unicredit sets aside in a year. That is why it is important to go to the industrial, so to speak, origin of the results: Intesa is the bank of the real economy, supporting all the large Made in Italy supply chains and the network of small and medium-sized enterprises that make up the specificity and resilience of the Italian production structure, but it knows how to encourage innovative sectors, as evidenced by the impetus given in recent years to the aerospace sector, which has led Italy to be included for the first time in major international projects. At the same time, the Intesa chief does not lose sight of the real country, the people who are experiencing hardship due to rising prices resulting from the complicated international economic situation, and allocates 1.5 billion to help the most vulnerable, 300 million of which have already been committed in 2024 (net of Foundations’ interventions), with thousands of initiatives on the ground where it is most urgent to address the breakdowns of the poverty line that has come to suck in five million people in our country.
The quiet strength of the Ceo, as reserved and hostile on the outside as he is on the inside for his employees, also came through when he addressed in a few, heartfelt and clear words three examples of governance, the first internal to the bank, the second entirely external, and the third related to Abi. Here they are: explicit call for reappointment for Gian Maria Gros Pietro, “the best possible chairman” for Intesa Sanpaolo. For Francesco Profumo, on the other hand, given in recent months as an almost certain replacement by the press, “great esteem and an institutional figure of extraordinary ability who deserves the best possible,” and for whom he himself will take action. So for Messina, top management stability is a core value when it is combined with winning strategies and a united team.
The second conscious and quiet show of strength, Intesa Sanpaolo’s CEO expressed it to journalists and analysts with an equally explicit endorsement for Emanuele Orsini, current vice president for credit, finance and tax, for the presidency of Confindustria: he has had the opportunity precisely because of his proxy to work with them and for that he “esteems him,” even though of course Intesa does not vote. In a sometimes hypocritical financial and industrial world, where everyone is with everyone and no one for fear of not being able to get on the bandwagon, this simple and reasoned endorsement bounced around in minutes in entrepreneurs’ chats.
Obviously, Messina’s stance is not only about Orsini’s personal qualities but about the role that business representation has in defending the interests of the country’s industrial vocation, because if Confindustria does its job well, it is better for the whole system. In fact, it is undeniable that in the last decade, both in Italy and especially in Europe, the incidence of representation of Europe’s second-largest manufacturing has waned, and renewing the ruling class and dedicated professional structures is a really important step. Finally, the Italian Banking Association, of which Intesa represents more than thirty percent but where it has often had to make decisions on its own on contracts and other important credit sector issues: “if we are there, Messina says, we want to weigh in.” And this stance can only be reflected in the choice of the bankers’ new chairman.
For all these reasons, from all the numbers in the balance sheet to the “handle” balance of management, the Stock Exchange rewarded the bank’s stock, formal recognition to the real active community it represents in the country: the direct customers (300 thousand of them switched in a few weeks from the traditional account at the branch to Isybank, the totally digital institution, while another 60 thousand new customers have joined so far), the motivated and continuously updated employees, the universe of companies with which there is a sharing of projects and business plans, the strong (and almost lonely within the credit world) attention to social issues.
(Associated Medias | FAD) – All rights reserved