Forging connections and supporting innovation: Intesa Sanpaolo’s new European hub

Forging connections and supporting innovation: Intesa Sanpaolo’s new European hub

Daniela Orlando, Head of Intesa Sanpaolo IMI Corporate & Investment Banking European hub, explains how she’s coordinating several branches to bolster the bank’s positioning in Europe

Rosie Murray-West

“Leveraging on our long history as a solid commercial Italian bank, we have strengthened our business in Europe, becoming one of the top players in the area” – Daniela Orlando, Head of the European hub, IMI Corporate & Investment Banking Division Intesa Sanpaolo

For Daniela Orlando, Head of the European hub, IMI Corporate & Investment Banking Division Intesa Sanpaolo, thinking on a global scale while respecting local characteristics comes as standard.

“Leveraging on our long history as a solid commercial Italian bank, we have strengthened our business in Europe, becoming one of the top players in the area,” she says.

Working together
The European hub is based in Milan with branches in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Madrid, Paris and Warsaw.

“We have an outstandingly talented team based in Milan,” says Orlando. “They’re doing a fantastic job in supporting our experienced professionals in the European branches, who have strong relationships with corporates and financial institutions.

“We exchange ideas about business, expectations and ambitions, considering the specific peculiarities of each region – for example, regarding regulatory matters. What works for Spain may not work as well for France or Germany.”

Sustainability
The European hub represents an innovative step forward for the bank. Its branches encourage cross-border business opportunities and offer full services to clients from Italy and elsewhere.

They also encourage work on innovation and support clients’ start-up initiatives – “especially in sustainability topics in which the bank is proactive and pays special attention to”, Orlando says.

Intesa Sanpaolo has been a partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation since 2016. It boosts the circular economy and its clients’ sustainable projects. “We are playing an important role,” Orlando says.

“We’ve been structuring deals for sustainable investments with a significant number of Italian and international clients.”

Intesa Sanpaolo considers the integration of ESG factors into its investment process of fundamental importance. It believes that these elements, as well as promoting economically and socially sustainable development, can contribute positively to the financial results of customer portfolios, while at the same time reducing their risks.

ESG principles permeate its culture with the expansion of its offer of sustainable and responsible investment products.

Future developments

During the pandemic, the hub sustained clients as they worked to overcome liquidity problems. It’s now crucial to be prepared for the changes it is facing at a business level.

“We are setting up new ways of supporting our customers to face the impact of this war, and the effect the new geopolitical scenario is having from a human, political and commercial standpoint.”

Expectations over the next few years are to continue expanding the bank’s offer and to consolidate its position clearly and strongly. “We aim to grow – both in terms of numbers and quality.

“This is how we create value for clients: we stand by them regardless of how challenging times might get. It’s in Intesa Sanpaolo’s DNA and we’re all very proud of it.”