Bloomberg News

Generali Names Balbinot Insurance Chief in Management Revamp

October 19, 2012

Assicurazioni Generali SpA (G) moved Managing Director Sergio Balbinot to the new position of chief insurance officer as Chief Executive Officer Mario Greco shuffles management after taking charge of Italy’s largest insurer.

Balbinot, 54, will lead insurance activities worldwide, reporting to Greco, the Trieste, Italy-based insurer said in a statement today. Generali also created a 10-member management committee that will be led by Greco, have Balbinot as deputy, and include the heads of Italy, France and Germany as well as other top executives.

Greco, 53, named CEO in June to replace Giovanni Perissinotto, 58, is realigning management to spur profit growth, strengthen capital and smooth relations with investors. Balbinot’s shift follows the appointment of Alberto Minali as chief financial officer last month to replace Raffaele Agrusti, who became country manager for Italy.

“Today’s announcement marks the completion of the review of Generali’s organizational structure,” said Greco in the statement. “We want to refocus on the core insurance business at an international level and therefore begin to enhance our internal capabilities.”

Generali also created chief operating and chief investment officer roles, to be held by Greco on an interim basis. Balbinot will leave the board of directors.

Business Plan

Greco said in August he’ll announce the timing of a new business plan on Nov. 9, when third-quarter results are published. The insurer is seeking to sell non-strategic assets, including its U.S. life reinsurance business and Swiss asset- management unit BSI Group, people familiar with the matter have said.

Generali’s second-quarter profit climbed 45 percent after year-earlier writedowns on Greek bonds and other securities weren’t repeated. In 2011, net income slumped 50 percent to the lowest level since 2002, and the insurer’s stock sank to an almost two-decade low on May 31.

Investors are betting Greco, a former McKinsey & Co. consultant who joined from Zurich Insurance Group AG, can replicate what he achieved over 17 years in the insurance industry, when he oversaw businesses in countries including France, Spain, Turkey and Italy.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sonia Sirletti in Milan at ssirletti@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net


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