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Reports Say Chairman of Italy's Biggest Insurer Offers Resignation

Posted on 06 Apr 2011

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Chairman Cesare Geronzi of Assicurazioni Generali SpA (G), Italy’s biggest insurer, offered to resign today, according to two people informed of the decision.

According to reports, at least 10 directors were prepared to support a no-confidence motion against Geronzi at a board meeting today in Rome.

Geronzi, 76, clashed with board members including Vincent Bollore over the company’s joint venture with PPF Group NV, prompting today’s meeting to discuss governance at Italy’s largest insurer. Generali needs to be more transparent about its investments in eastern Europe and Russia, Bollore told Italian daily Corriere Della Sera in an interview published March 19.

The request for greater transparency was behind Bollore’s decision to abstain from the board’s approval of 2010 earnings. He told the newspaper the partnership in Eastern Europe with PPF group is “unbalanced” and an investment in VTB Group “overvalues” the Russian bank.

Officials for Trieste-based Generali didn’t have an immediate comment. A spokesman for Geronzi didn’t answer calls to his mobile phone seeking comment.