MILAN (Reuters) – Generali shareholders will vote to select a chief executive and board of directors on Friday.
Philippe Donnet, who has been CEO at Europe’s third-largest insurer since 2016, is running for reappointment with the backing of Generali’s outgoing board and its leading shareholder Mediobanca.
Donnet’s candidacy is opposed by Italian tycoon Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone, Generali’s second-largest investor, who has proposed former Generali executive Luciano Cirina instead.
Following is a summary of the main stakeholders and their stances:
– IN FAVOUR OF DONNET –
MEDIOBANCA Milanese bank holds 12.8% of Generali, which accounts
for a third of its profit. To counter challenger
investors at AGM it has secured a temporary 17.2%
DE AGOSTINI Italian publisher has praised Donnet and is expected to
back his reappointment before completing planned
disposal of its 1.44% Generali stake.
NORGES Generali shareholders Union Investment and Deka
BANK, CPP, Investment have both told Reuters they back Donnet.
CALPERS, Proxy voting records show that Norway’s sovereign
SBA wealth fund Norges Bank, U.S. investors CalPERS and SBA
FLORIDA, Florida, Canada’s CPP are also in favour.[L5N2WK2BO]
UNION Swiss foundation Ethos, comprising more than 220
INVESTMENT, pension funds, has recommended a pro-Donnet vote.
– AGAINST DONNET –
FRANCESCO 79-year-old construction and newspaper magnate has a
GAETANO 9.95% Generali stake, which he has gradually increased
CALTAGIRONE in recent years. Before stepping down in January,
Caltagirone had been a Generali board director since
2007, also taking on the role of vice chair in 2010. He
will likely have a seat on the board again even if his
bid to oust Donnet fails.
LEONARDO Billionaire founder of Italian eyewear giant Luxottica
DEL is third-largest shareholder in Generali with a stake
VECCCHIO of around 8%. Del Vecchio, who is also the biggest
investor in Mediobanca with a near 20% stake, has sided
FONDAZIONE Banking foundation with a 1.7% stake supports
CRT Caltagirone’s plan for Generali.
BENETTON With 4% Generali stake and close ties to both camps,
FAMILY Benettons are set to back rival slate and want to
promote dialogue and cooperation after AGM.
CASSA Italian lawyers’ pension institute is reported to back
FORENSE the rebel billionaires with its 1% stake.
– YET TO DECIDE –
INSTITUTIONAL Hold in aggregate 35% of the insurer. Their AGM
INVESTORS attendance in recent years has been at around 20% but
this year overall attendance is set to be markedly
higher. Their vote is usually oriented by the
recommendations of leading governance advisers
Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass
Lewis which have both backed Donnet. Fund shareholders
include BlackRock, Fidelity Investments, Vanguard,
Thornburg Investment Management.
A group of 11 institutional investors holding 0.64% of
Generali has filed a separate slate, which does not
include a CEO candidate.
RETAIL Small savers made up mostly of wealthy families in
SHAREHOLDERS Italy’s north east hold around 22% of Generali. For
retail shareholders the focus is the dividend policy,
which Donnet in December pledged to boost.
(Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro and Valentina Za; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Alexander Smith and Keith Weir)