By Gianluca Semeraro
MILAN, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Mediobanca's MDBI.MI current chief executive Alberto Nagel is set to be confirmed in his role for three more years after a majority of the Italian bank's shareholders on Wednesday backed candidates for the board which included him, a source close to the situation said.
Mediobanca's annual general meeting on Wednesday, held behind closed doors in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, was called to appoint a new board for the first time since Italian billionaire Leonardo Del Vecchio became the bank's main investor, with a 10.2% stake.
Under Nagel, who has led the bank since 2008, Mediobanca has moved away from its historic role as a financial holding company and boosted its wealth management and consumer credit operations, also through acquisitions.
Nagel's strategy had come in for criticism from Del Vecchio, but he later praised the CEO's latest business plan.
Nagel's position was also put in doubt by activist fund Bluebell which filed its own list of board candidates but failed to secure any board seats.
At the shareholder meeting, the 85-year-old Luxottica founder voted in favour of the directors put forward by a group of professional investors, not for the one which included Nagel, two sources close to the situation said.
But Del Vecchio's decision is perceived as a sign of easing tensions with the CEO, as the list of directors he voted for confirms two members of the outgoing board.
Three lists of board candidates were filed and 67.6% of voting shareholders in the AGM backed the one submitted by Mediobanca's outgoing board, which won 13 board seats out of 15, the bank said in a statement, signalling investors' confidence in the current management.
The group of professional investors won the remaining two seats, two sources close to the situation said.
Nagel is expected to be confirmed as CEO of the bank at a board meeting on Thursday.
(Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro and Elisa Anzolin; editing by James MacKenzie/Giulia Segreti/Jane Merriman)
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