ITALY – San Paolo IMI’s insurance arm Assicurazioni Internazionali di Previdenza (AIP) has appointed Ras Assicurazioni’s Giuseppe Greco to the new role of managing director to develop its old-age provision business.

Greco, who has resigned as MD of insurance company Ras SpA, whose majority shareholder is Allianz, is due to start by the end of the month.

He will be the first MD of the company, which was formed last year with the merger of San Paolo’s three life insurance firms: Sanpaolo Vita, Fideuram Vita and Noricum Vita. AIP has been operating since last December.

San Paolo IMI announced the appointment yesterday saying: “The appointment of Dr. Greco is part of a long-standing project to strengthen the insurance side of the group, in line with the object to anticipate the important challenges in the field.”

“He is the right man for the job,” AIP chairman Luigi Maranzana told IPE. “He has a successful track record at Ras and can count on experience, excellent professional skills and organizational rigour. He understands our programme.”

Maranzana, chairman since September 2004, explained that one of Greco’s challenges will be to develop the new company’s pension insurance potential, which he said would be “tremendous” once the pension reforms kicks in.

AIP has inherited a “very deeply rooted” position in the bancassurance market, he said.

For the time being insurance for pension purposes counts for about 8% of AIP’s total business but Maranzana said he was “optimistic” about the future thanks to Greco’s appointment and the structural changes expected with the pension reform.

“AIP is poised to exploit the changes ahead, we are uniquely positioned in the market,” he observed.

Ras said in a statement that president Giuseppe Vita had suggested Paolo Vagnone, under suggestion of Allianz, to take over from Greco.

Vagnone has acted as director for major clients and re-insurance since 2000.

“The company thanks him Greco for his profitable work, which has contributed to the group’s growth in the last ten years,” Ras said.