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UniCredit: Alessandro Profumo is the European Business Leader of the Year for CNBC Europe

Alessandro Profumo was awarded yesterday in London the European Business Leader of the Year by CNBC Europe, for creating and sustaining entrepreneurship, developing best practices and carving powerful business in the global economy.

The annual awards, presented by CNBC Europe, are based on nominations and judging by independent groups of CEO peers.

Mr. Profumo was awarded for his outstanding leadership and the results he achieved in expanding the bank's operations into Central and Eastern Europe and leading the company's merger with HVB Group. The judges assessed his achievements in a variety of areas including financial performance, shareholder value, management, innovation, corporate governance, business practices and accountability.

Mick Buckley, President and CEO at CNBC Europe said: "This year's Awards have identified another outstanding list of achievers who exemplify the best in leadership. What makes these Awards different is that they are a peer-to-peer awards, with the winners and nominations picked by their CEO contemporaries from a diverse cross section of industries. It's our business to track the successes of today's business leaders, and I'm confident that those individuals we've identified tonight will drive Europe's position as a major leading force in the global economy".

While receiving the award and thanking the jury, Alessandro Profumo said: "I would like to dedicate this important award to all my 140,000 colleagues at UniCredit Group, in the 20 European countries where we are operating. Little bit more than one year ago, we executed the biggest cross-border merger ever done in Europe in the financial sector. And it is the commitment and professionalism of our people, and their willingness to embrace change and challenges, which is allowing us to conclude our integration ahead of schedule, and while achieving at the same time truly excellent business results".

The Awards scheme, now in its fourth year, was created to identify and honour those individuals who are making a difference through leadership and innovation in their industry sectors. The shortlist of nominations for the Awards was selected by a panel of CEOs from the Dow Jones Stoxx 600, who voted for two executives who they believed were leaders making a significant impact in expanding global business in Europe

Mr. Profumo was chosen by a panel of judges that included EBLA 2006 winners Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld (Business Leader of the Future), Niklas Zennström  (Entrepreneur of the Year) and Professor Seán Meehan, Professor of Marketing and Change Management, IMD Lausanne and Frederick Kempe, President and CEO, The Atlantic Council and former editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe. The panel was chaired by Barbara Stelzner, Director of News and Programming at CNBC Europe.

Profumo added: "We consider UniCredit Group the "first truly European bank", in the sense that we have strong historic roots in all of the major countries where we operate - and embracing that diversity, and putting the collective knowledge of our people at the service of all of our customers is what makes us strong and unique. That, and our strong emphasis on governance, integrity and social responsibility - which we see as the engine for enabling sustainability in our business and in providing value to our customers, shareholders and to society".

With a current market capitalization of approximately €70 billion, ranking among the top financial groups in Europe, UniCredit has a presence in 20 countries worldwide, with over 35 million clients and 7,000 branches, approximately 142 thousand employees and total assets of approximately €823 billion as of 31 December 2006.

Milan, 23 March 2007

For more information on the Awards visit


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