Intesa CEO says wealth management sector too pricey for large deals

FILE PHOTO: Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo bank
FILE PHOTO: Carlo Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, looks on during a shareholders meeting in Turin, Italy April 27, 2017. REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino/File Photo

February 8, 2021

MILAN (Reuters) – Intesa Sanpaolo Chief Executive Carlo Messina said on Monday current valuations in the wealth management sector did not warrant large acquisitions, but Italy’s biggest bank could look at small firms or networks of private bankers.

With its business model geared towards fee-earning businesses, Intesa reaps 61% of its gross income from wealth management and protection activities.

“Looking at possible acquisition we will look … more at teams of private bankers. The price-to-book – so the goodwill embedded in the acquisition – of wealth management companies is too high to justify synergies,” Messina told Bloomberg TV.

“We will be more focused on making acquisitions of teams or boutiques or other non-significant players in the market,” he said.

(Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Giulia Segreti)