March 15, 2015 / 5:03 PM / in 3 years

Monte Paschi's chairman aims to step down after cash call: paper

Monte dei Paschi bank chairman Alessandro Profumo talks during a Reuters interview in Siena June 27, 2012. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

MILAN (Reuters) - Alessandro Profumo wants to step down as chairman of Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) once the troubled Italian bank has completed its 3 billion-euro ($3 billion) share sale, according to Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore.

Asked to comment on the report, Profumo told Reuters the issue would be discussed later this week, once the Monte dei Paschi foundation, a key shareholder, has approved a list of nominees for the renewal of the bank’s board.

“We’ll discuss it on Tuesday after the foundation’s decision,” he said in a text message.

The foundation meets on Tuesday to approve a list of candidates ahead of a Monte Paschi shareholder meeting in mid-April convened to approve both the rights issue and the new board.

The departure of the veteran Italian banker would not come as a surprise as Monte Paschi is looking for a buyer and is expected to seal a merger shortly after it has filled the capital gap which was revealed in the industrywide health checks last year.

The Monte dei Paschi foundation is tied by a shareholder pact to U.S.-based investment firm Fintech Advisory, controlled by Mexican billionaire David Martinez, and Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual (BPAC3.SA). Together they control 9 percent of the bank.

The pact allows the foundation to propose its own candidate to be the bank’s chairman and the other two shareholders to pick the chief executive in a joint list of board nominees.

Il Sole 24 Ore quoted sources among the advisers of Monte Paschi’s three main shareholders as saying that Profumo had agreed to be reappointed chairman due to pressure from regulators but there was an accord that he would step down once the share sale was completed.

Monte Paschi is due to launch the rights issue around the end of May and beginning of June.

Profumo, 58, headed top Italian bank UniCredit (CRDI.MI) from 1997 to 2010. He was appointed chairman of Monte Paschi in 2012 to try to turn the bank around after its costly acquisition of local rival Antonveneta seven years ago drained its finances. The bank was further hit by the sovereign debt crisis and a financial derivatives scandal.

The current chief executive, Fabrizio Viola, will stay on at Monte Paschi to ensure continuity until the bank finds a buyer, the paper said.

Reporting by Valentina Za and Stefano Bernabei,; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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