The Journalists Association "The Group of 20+1" has selected Jean Pierre Mustier, Chief Executive Officer of UniCredit S.p.A, as "European Banker of the Year 2018". This award has been presented annually since 1994. "The Group 20+1" is an association of leading international business and financial journalists based in Frankfurt am Main.
Since taking charge of the UniCredit Group in mid-July 2016, Jean Pierre Mustier (58) has done an impressive job turning the bank around thanks to Group's Transform 2019 strategic plan, a comprehensive transformation initiative based on organic assumptions. After writing down close to 13 billion euros of assets, selling 17.7 billion of non-performing exposures, disposing of assets for about 7 billion and raising 13 billion in one of Europe's largest rights issue, today the bank has a solid capital ratio, a healthy balance sheet and recurring positive results. In FY 2018, the adjusted net profit was 3.9 billion euros, up7.7% over the previous year.
Thanks to a disciplined transformation plan, Transform 2019, the 13 billion rights issue, the sale of non-strategic assets and a refocus on fundamentals, the Group, which suffered from a triple dip recession in one of its core-markets, is once again one of the leading pan-European commercial banks. This is all the more remarkable as the challenging geo-political and macro-economic environment in Europe poses special challenges for the financial sector.
The objectives set out in the three-year restructuring plan "Transform 2019" have progressed ahead of plan, and were reconfirmed at the time of the Group's FY2018 results presentation in February. Over three years, the bank has reduced its workforce by 14,000 employees, closing over 800 branches. Overall total costs have dropped by 5.6% to 10.7 billion euros in 2018. Mustier has also pressed ahead with the reduction of bad loans, shedding more than 36 billion euros worth at the end of 2018, whilst committing to fully run off UniCredit Non-Core portfolio by 2021.
Jean Pierre Mustier leads the group with discipline and strong principles. He was previously Head of the CIB division before leaving in 2014. He returned in July 2016 to become Chief Executive Officer. Since then he has streamlined the bank governance and management structure.
Finally, Mustier is a committed European and was recently nominated President of the European Banking Federation. He is convinced of the need for pan-European banks to support the European economy and SMEs in particular.
Members of "The Group of 20 + 1"
Tim Bartz, DER SPIEGEL; Gerald Braunberger, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; Ulla Herrmann, ARD/Hessischer Rundfunk; Christiaan Hetzner, Wirtschaftsjournalist; Kathrin Jones, Thomson Reuters; Christian Kirchner, finanz-szene.de; Jean-Philippe Lacour, Agence France-Presse (AFP); Robert Landgraf, Handelsblatt; Dr. Bernd Neubacher, Börsen-Zeitung; Klaus Dieter Oehler, Stuttgarter Zeitung; Ulrich Reitz, n-tv Nachrichtenfernsehen; Mark Schieritz, DIE ZEIT; Albrecht F. Schirmacher, DER PLATOW Brief; Reinhard Schlieker, ZDF-Börsenstudio; Brigitte Scholtes, Deutschlandfunk; Inken Schönauer, EURO FINANCE magazin; Meike Schreiber, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Olaf Storbeck, Financial Times; Christoph Wehnelt, Geldanlagen-Nachrichten.de; Holger Zschäpitz, WELT Gruppe
Source: Euro Finance Group