Mediobanca, eloquent silence from Pagliaro: president in the wake of Cuccia and Maranghi

The Breton financier Vincent Bolloré called him “a man who follows risks very well”, which “is very important”.

Renato Pagliaro is not exactly a ‘glitterato’ of finance. The president of Mediobanca follows the tradition of the house that belonged to Enrico Cuccia and Vincenzo Maranghi and speaks little. Very little. Certainly not with journalists: he has never granted an interview and does not participate in institutional events, unless they concern the history of the institute, to which he is very attached. The only other position he holds is that of director of the Giancarla Vollaro Foundation, a long-time assistant to Cuccia, which finances scientific research in the oncology field. Pagliaro was born in Milan in 1957, graduated from Bocconi University in Business Economics and joined Mediobanca soon after, in 1981. He made his entire career in-house, under the wing of Maranghi, until he became chairman of the board of management, in 2007-2008, before reaching the presidency in 2010, after the departure of Cesare Geronzi, who went to Generali.

The Breton financier Vincent Bolloré called him “a man who follows risks very well”, which “is very important”. Marco Tronchetti Provera, president of Pirelli and at the time vice president of Mediobanca, stressed that he is “a good person” and “competent”. He is a highly technical president, appreciated by the board and highly respected in Milanese finance. He has not held operational positions for years, but still participates in brain-storming on the bank’s operational activities. The Pagliaro man has a rather austere lifestyle, despite the remuneration of the chairman of Mediobanca is not negligible (for the 2020-2021 financial year he received almost 2.3 million euros, gross).

He still goes to work on a Vespa or on a bicycle, as he has done for many years: he does not need to come by car to avoid any journalists stationed in the square. In fact, even if some daredevil ventures to ask him a question, he never answers: one of the very few times he uttered a word was for not commenting on the rumors that indicated him as the next president, on March 23, 2010. “No – he told reporters that they asked for a comment – I’m going to eat a pizza “. The Adnkronos has glimpsed him aboard a service sedan only on one occasion, at the abbey of Chiaravalle, a little out of the way, when Mediobanca organized an event in the structure, of which it co-financed the restorations and where Raffaele is buried Mattioli, patron of the Comit and Cuccia’s mentor.

In the past, Pagliaro personally oversaw important deals: the latest known is Telco, the holding company that secured Telecom Italia, a group which, the then co-general manager of Mediobanca noted in 2004, “can count on one of the national talents, that of spend minutes on the phone “. He is a reserved man. Very little is known about him: he is married and has no children. He likes to play tennis. He is known that he loves to travel, it seems especially in the Americas and Europe. He is supposed to own a house in New York, but he talks very little about himself. He knows only one vice: he was (maybe he still is) a smoker of red Marlboros.

He is a president of few words, but when he speaks he does not say banality. He once observed, replying to a shareholder at the meeting, that it is “unnatural” for a bank to be the main shareholder of Corriere della Sera, which Mediobanca was before Urbano Cairo took over the helm of RCS Mediagroup. Observation that denotes, at least, democratic sensitivity. Also this in the style of the house: the Mediobanca budget meeting takes place every year on October 28, the anniversary of the March on Rome: during Fascism it was a national holiday and Cuccia, son-in-law of Alberto Beneduce, wanted it to always be a working day in his bank. Another time, in 2008, he noted that “on average, in Italy, the entrepreneur has more skills than professional management”.

Pagliaro, who is not a well-known face to the general public given the (deliberately) low media exposure, sometimes walks around the peripheral areas of Milan, to observe how people of other social classes live. A man with a strong work ethic, he can be abrasive when he happens to speak freely to a non-financial audience. Once, in 2012, he told the students of the Liceo Carducci in Milan that they should have forgotten “the permanent job. There is no duty for companies to hire and do not snub manual jobs, because a good bartender is better than a listless lawyer” , as reported at the time by Il Sole 24 Ore. And again: “If you think you work to enjoy your salary in your free time, it falls very badly, because one has to go to work willingly, give the best of oneself while having fun. And, if you think it is eight hours of non-life, you will end up losing your job. “. He also urged them to work on Sundays. The teenagers roared, it seems.