ITALY - Francis Candylaftis is to become the new chief executive at Eurizon Capital, one of the largest Italian asset management houses.

Candylaftis left the Italian branch of Crédit Agricole Asset Management, CAAM SGR, earlier this week after 28 years with the French financial services group.

He will be replacing Eugenio Namor at Eurizon Capital, the asset management arm of the Eurizon Group but a spokesperson for Italy's third-largest asset manager (source: IPE Top 400 Asset Managers) could not comment on where Namor was going.

Candylaftis' move, after eight years as CAAM SGR chief executive, comes while Crédit Agricole is in the process of unwinding its Italian asset management joint venture with Banca Intesa.

Following the merger between Banca Intesa and Sanpaolo IMI earlier this year to create Italy's largest bank, Intesa Sanpaolo will repurchase the 65% in Nextra Investment Management it had sold to CAAM SGR in 2005.

The wind-up demanded by the Italian competition authority AGCM will be completed by early 2008 at the latest.

Candylaftis told IPE the Italian Credit Agricole Asset Management operations will retain at least €25bn in assets, albeit he said this is a "conservative estimate".

Intesa Sanpalo has, meanwhile, decided against floating its unit the Eurizon Group and rather opted for a reorganisation and expansion plan. One of the details disclosed so far is Eurizon's chief executive Marco Greco will be leaving after the summer. A spokesperson for the group told IPE no replacement has been found yet.

Marseille-born Candylaftis, 52, had joined Crédit Agricole in 1979. Over the years, he worked for the bank in various locations all over the world including Cora, Middle East, Sydney and finally Milan in 1994.