By Gianluca Semeraro
MILAN (Reuters) -UniCredit investor Cariverona is in favour of the pay package the Italian bank has agreed with its new Chief Executive Andrea Orcel, a source at the Italian banking foundation said on Tuesday.
Orcel’s pay package of up to 7.5 million euros ($8.9 million) a year has been criticised by leading shareholder advisers Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis, which have recommended investors reject the pay policy.
Shareholders in Italy’s No.2 bank meet on April 15 to appoint a new board that will then name as CEO the former head of investment banking at UBS.
The Cariverona source said UniCredit’s new boss faced “important and brave” decisions needed to revive UniCredit’s profitability and it would not have been right to limit the selection process by posing limits over the new CEO’s pay.
Cariverona, one of Italy’s charitable institutions that are long-standing investors in the country’s banks, owns 1.8% of UniCredit.
The source said the pay package UniCredit agreed with the new CEO was not out of line with the standards of Italy’s financial world.
Orcel, one of Europe’s best paid dealmakers, takes over from French banker Jean Pierre Mustier, who left in February after falling out with the board over strategy.
Orcel is embroiled in a dispute over pay with Santander after the Spanish bank two years ago withdrew an offer to make him its CEO.
The source said Cariverona was strongly behind Orcel’s designations because it had always maintained UniCredit, as Italy’s only bank deemed of global significance by regulators, had to look for the best candidate in replacing Mustier.
Orcel, who is relinquishing tens of millions in deferred pay from UBS in joining UniCredit, has no sign-on package from the Italian bank.
But ISS and Glass Lewis have taken aim at the fact that his up to 5 million euro share bonus is not linked to performance goals for the first year.($1 = 0.8440 euros)
(Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro; writing by Valentina Za; editing by Agnieszka Flak and Philippa Fletcher)