Intesa Sanpaolo has a long and rich history in the United States. Originally opening in 1906 to serve Italian immigrants, the bank has over the years built strong relationships not only with American corporations but institutions, too.
Central to Intesa Sanpaolo’s North American operation is the New York hub, the base for the company across the whole of the United States, Canada and Latin America.
“What is really impressive about the New York hub is its diversity,” says Biagio Calabrese, General Manager, Intesa Sanpaolo, New York Hub. “We have 250 employees and close to 20 different nationalities, creating a culture than is much more than an Italian culture. Many of our clients are US corporations that have big operations in Europe.”
That diversity, experience and agility enable Intesa Sanpaolo to operate as a major player in a market where the magnitude of a deal is often unparalleled. As Calabrese adds: “When we talk about a 20-billion deal here in the US, that’s a standard deal.”
photo credits Balazs Sebok
“We have 250 employees and close to 20 different nationalities, creating a culture than is much more than an Italian culture. Many of our clients are US corporations that have big operations in Europe”
Biagio Calabrese, General Manager, Intesa Sanpaolo New York Hub
In such a competitive market, it is imperative for banks to be able to differentiate themselves, not just through the quality of their service, but also the products they offer.
Novella Burioli, Global Relationship Manager, Intesa Sanpaolo New York Hub, who works with multinational corporations in agri-business and energy, says: “We can talk to our customers about financial solutions, but also about innovation and circular economy. They are distinguishing features of our bank that not many other banks can bring to the table.”
“We are the only Italian bank that is able here to serve any type of Italian business, starting from small companies to huge corporations,” adds Calabrese. “During the last 10 years, the US has been the market where Italian exports have grown the most. We are talking about a market of more than 300 million people, so still I see many Italian enterprises coming here and building up a success story.”
photo credits Intesa Sanpaolo Historical Archive
The structured-finance team is a good example of the ambition of Intesa Sanpaolo for international growth. The bank boasts a variety of nationalities and 20-plus years of experience in local markets.
Fuensanta Diaz Cobacho, Head, Structured Finance Americas within Intesa Sanpaolo New York Hub, whose responsibilities include infrastructure, energy, oil and gas, real estate and leveraged finance, says: “Intesa Sanpaolo has financed more than 60 projects in those sectors and has put to work probably north of $5 billion in the Americas.
“The projects that we finance definitely have a direct impact on the economic growth of many countries. Intesa Sanpaolo is the only Italian bank active in leading structured-finance transactions.”
Ultimately Intesa Sanpaolo is more than just a key player in the New York banking ecosystem. As Francesco Genuardi, Italian Consul General to New York, acknowledges it is also embedded in the cultural life of the city: “Intesa Sanpaolo has a major role in New York City, they are a partner of the city. They brought a Caravaggio two years ago here to the Metropolitan Museum. They are a natural partner to a lot of New York cultural institutions. They are part of the landscape.”
As head of the New York Hub, Calabrese is excited by the potential of the ongoing relationship between bank and city. “The chemistry between Italy and the US from a business perspective is very, very fruitful and positive.”
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