Leader in Eastern Europe, number two in Italian market, it has become one of the biggest financial institution in Europe

Federico Ghizzoni

Federico Ghizzoni

Its international focus forms the dna of the company. This has always been the distinctive feature that sets UniCredit apart as one of the largest financial institutions in Europe, the largest one to be based in Italy, with an international network spread over 50 countries, with commercial banks that are strongly rooted in the local area in 17 of these countries. Today the group works via approximately 8,100 branches and more than 146,000 employees, serving over 32 million clients, with assets that amount to approximately 875 billion euro. Indeed, it is one of the healthiest banks in Europe with a CeTier1 rating of 10.78.

The UniCredit of today is the result of one of the most compelling stories of both external and internal growth, that brought about mergers, acquisitions and assimilations. The group is currently the undisputed market leader in Central and Eastern Europe, with almost 3,400 branches and assets of 209 billion. The list of countries in which it operates, in addition to Italy, is long yet valuable: Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, the Ukraine and Hungary.

A global network such as this provides added value to UniCredit clients, thanks also in part to the close collaboration that takes place between the Corporate & Investment Banking department and the group’s European commercial banks. This means that UniCredit clients can take advantage of a comprehensive range of financial services –anywhere– which are fundamental in simplifying transactions, hedging financial risks and making profitable investments in foreign markets. Its business consultancy lines are also important, such as Global Transaction Banking (Gtb), Financing & Advisory (F&A), Markets and the network’s Financial Institutions Group (Fig).

The Corporate & Investment Banking department serves corporate and institutional clients, amounting to more than 3,000 professionals in 50 countries. The methodological approach involves establishing long-term relationships with clients, throughout all the sectors that it works in. The core services offered (in fact, they are called the Core client offer) are based on three pillars: Corporate banking and transaction services; Structured financing, capital markets and investment products; Access to the markets of Western, Central and Eastern Europe.

All the activities of the group are overseen from its headquarters in Milan, which moved to what is now the most prestigious building in Italy, one which is almost symbolic of Italian architecture, the UniCredit Tower. It is a complex made up of three buildings, designed by the Argentinian architect Cesar Pelli. The tallest tower stands out with all its 230 metres, which borders Piazza Gae Aulenti. Approximately 4,000 employees work within this complex thanks to a new organisational solution that allowed UniCredit to reduce its branches in Milan from 26 down to 5, saving real estate costs of around 25 million euro (and 55,000 square metres of used office space).