MILAN, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Italy's top insurer Generali
on Friday said it would press on with a list of
candidates for its new board in line with regulatory guidelines,
as a battle among its leading shareholders rages on.
Italian market watchdog Consob on Friday published final
remarks in response to a query over whether a company's outgoing
board could legitimately propose new board candidates.
Such a practice, which is common for U.S. or British
companies with a wide shareholder base, is more rare in Italy,
where leading shareholders normally pick board nominees.
Deeming it a legitimate practice, Consob said 52 Italian
companies at the end of 2020 had introduced in their by-laws the
possibility for the outgoing board to select candidates to be
put to a shareholder vote.
Only 11 companies, including Generali following changes to
its by-laws in 2020, actually make use it, Consob said.
"Generali welcomes the guidance," a spokesman for the
insurer said. "The company confirms that preparation for the
board list continues in accordance with Consob guidelines."
Europe's third-largest insurer is caught in a war involving
its top three shareholders - investment bank Mediobanca
and Italian tycoons Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone and
Leonardo Del Vecchio.
Caltagirone and a representative for Del Vecchio this month
quit Generali's board as the two billionaires prepare to draw up
their own slate of nominees for the board, including their own
candidate for the chief executive officer job.
With Mediobanca's backing, Generali's board has proposed
naming current CEO Philippe Donnet for a third mandate at an
annual general meeting in April.
Generali's board this week started examining other possible
board candidates helped by leadership advisory firm Russell
Two people with knowledge of the matter said former Ray-Ban
owner Luxottica CEO Andrea Guerra had been proposed, but he had
declined the offer.
Guerra, now a top executive at luxury goods group LVMH
, led Luxottica for a decade before falling out with
Del Vecchio, the eyewear group's founder.
(Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro and Valentina Za; Editing by