Advisor | May 2021

The merger by incorporation of UBI into Intesa Sanpaolo marks the beginning of a new, long-awaited season, the age of bank mergers.

For a potential predator to turn suddenly into a prey is not ideal. Moreover, bankers prefer anticipating events rather than putting up with them; however, not everyone is infallible.

Future mergers are going to change the look of the banking world. The arrival in UniCredit of Andrea Orcel, specialist in investment banking and M&A, is a clear sign of the beginning of a very hot season.

MPS, Banco BPM and BPER are going to be the next protagonists of this season – whether they will star as preys or predators is still to be determined.

Banks and networks of financial advisors have something in common: their success depends not only on their budgets, but also on the level of satisfaction of their stakeholders – clients, employees and advisors – who play a crucial role for the income statement.

The first data collected by FINER sound surprising: for both clients and professionals (employees and financial advisors), bank mergers do not seem to affect their overall level of satisfaction. On the contrary, in some cases the level of satisfaction increases.

Clearly, the success or failure of a bank merger (and the same goes for any other kind of business) depend on the quality and expertise of the managers.

34% of FAs who ended up in a new financial network after a merger have positive expectations for their future, be it private or professional, and the new company.

The percentage of optimists changes in the case of bankers, fluctuating between 17% and 8%.

All depends on the growth perspective of the bank and on individual careers. Junior bankers see their arrival in a larger bank as an opportunity for growth. On the other hand, 25% of senior bankers prefer ending up in a smaller bank, where the risk of homologation is lower and, consequently, their skills can be put to use.

A wait-and-see attitude seems to prevail among clients (33%), whilst a small band of rebels (5%) is ready the change bank at the earliest opportunity.

Only knowledgeable and clairvoyant bankers have always considered the satisfaction of their stakeholders as important as budget surplus.

Nicola Ronchetti