Ex-UniCredit CEO Jean Pierre Mustier Said to Plan SPAC

Ex-UniCredit SpA Chief Executive Officer Jean Pierre Mustier plans to raise funds for a special purpose acquisition company, the latest former top banker to take advantage of the trend for blank check vehicles.

Mustier, who left UniCredit last week after a boardroom power struggle, plans to work on the SPAC with former Bank of America Corp. executive Diego de Giorgi, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The company will invest in financial services, including wealth management and fintechs, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

Ex-UniCredit CEO Jean Pierre Mustier Said to Plan SPAC

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is advising on the venture, the people said. The bank declined to comment, as did a representative for Mustier.

Mustier joins an ever growing list of former executives seeking to tap into the SPAC trend to help revive their careers after leaving top finance jobs. Ex-Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam is planning a $250 million vehicle while ex-Citigroup Inc. banker Michael Klein and former Deutsche Bank AG investment banking head Garth Ritchie have already listed such companies in the U.S.

Ex-Commerzbank CEO Martin Blessing -- who was a co-head of wealth management at UBS -- is also working to raise funds for an SPAC targeting deals in the financial services industry, people familiar said earlier this month.

Mustier announced his departure from UniCredit in November after more than four years at the helm of Italy’s biggest bank, following clashes with board members over strategy. The abrupt resignation came after a tumultuous year for the Italian lender. Like other CEOs, Mustier was forced to scale back the bank’s ambitions because of the coronavirus.

He’s set to be replaced at UniCredit by former UBS Group AG investment banker Andrea Orcel. After Mustier’s resignation, De Giorgi had been cited among the early names as a potential CEO candidate. Ranieri de Marchis is taking over as interim general manager until Orcel takes over.

Blank check companies raised a record $101 billion from listings last year, the bulk of it from the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. European billionaires and bankers are now lining up their own listings in the region, with more expected this year.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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