UniCredit board holds governance talks as the future of CEO in question

UniCredit’s board was holding informal discussions over the Italian bank’s governance on Sunday, a person familiar with the matter said, amid doubts over whether its chief executive will stay.

Jean Pierre Mustier’s mandate comes up for renewal in the spring, and three people familiar with the matter said there was a growing rift with the board over strategy which called into question his future at the bank.

UniCredit declined to comment.

The tensions are focused on a potential bid for bailed-out Monte dei Paschi di Siena and a plan to split UniCredit’s domestic and foreign assets, the people said.

That UniCredit’s board was set to discuss conditions set by Mustier to stay on at Italy’s only “global systemically important” bank for another three years.

But the first source said directors would only have an informal discussion before beginning the process of renewing the board next week.

UniCredit has already said it will put forward for the role of chairman Pier Carlo Padoan, who was Italy’s economy minister at the time of Monte dei Paschi’s rescue.

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