Berlusconi Holding Hires BofA Banker to Lead Its M&A Division

Fininvest SpA, the family investment company of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi, has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Gianluca Iuliano to lead its strategic planning, M&A and business development division, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Iuliano, 42, will join Fininvest, which is chaired by the ex-prime minister’s daughter Marina Berlusconi, in mid-September, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the appointment isn’t public.

He’ll replace Alessandro Franzosi, who left Fininvest to became CFO of Mondadori SpA, one of the firms the holding controls. Iuliano will be based in Milan and report to Chief Executive Officer Danilo Pellegrino.

Iuliano comes to Fininvest with decades of M&A experience at a time when Mediaset SpA, the Berlusconi family’s most iconic asset and Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster, is seeking to reshape its plan to build a pan-European television alliance after a Spanish court ruled against the project.

The Spanish ruling was a blow to Fininvest founder and ex-Prime Minister Berlusconi and a victory for his rival, French media mogul Vincent Bollore, whose Vivendi SA remains Mediaset’s second-largest investor after a multi-year legal battle over governance and strategies.

A spokesman for Fininvest declined to comment. A representative for BofA in Italy also declined to comment.

Iuliano joined Merrill Lynch in 2003 in London, where he worked for two years before joining UniCredit SpA as an investment banker. He returned to BofA Merrill Lynch in Milan in 2007 and rose to become a senior managing director in the investment banking division.

Iuliano has been involved as adviser in a number of major Italian deals, including the merger of Inwit with Vodafone’s Italian mobile tower unit and the initial public offerings of companies including Cantieri San Lorenzo, Nexi and Gima TT SpA. He also helped plan the lion’s share of Italian banking recapitalizations over the last decade.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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