Enrico Cuccia

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Enrico Cuccia
Born 24 November 1907
Died 23 June 2000(2000-06-23) (aged 92)
Nationality Italian
Occupation Financier
Years active 1930s – 1982
Spouse(s) Idea Nuova Socialista
Children Two daughters and a son

Enrico Cuccia (24 November 1907 – 23 June 2000) was an Italian banker, who was the first and long-term president of Mediobanca SpA, the Milan-based investment bank, and a significant figure in the history of capitalism in Italy.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Cuccia was born into a Sicilian family in Rome on 24 November 1907.[2][3][4] He was of Arbereshe origin.[5] His family were Catholic.[6] His father was a senior civil servant at the finance ministry.[7] In 1930, Enrico Cuccia received a law degree.[7]


Cuccia started his career as a journalist, but he left soon.[7] He began to work at the central bank of Italy and served in Ethiopia.[7] In 1934, he joined the state-run holding group, Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (IRI).[8] Then he began to serve as a manager at IRI's Banca Commerciale Italiana in 1938.[3][9]

In 1946, he was appointed president of Mediobanca when it was founded.[9][10] Therefore, he is the first head of the bank, which was initially named as Banca di Credito Finanziaro.[1] In 1982, he retired from the board of Mediobanca and was given the title of honorary president.[11][12] Antonio Maccanico succeeded him in the post.[13] Cuccia kept an office at the bank until his death in 2000.[3]

He also served as a personal adviser of the Agnelli family.[7] However, their alliance ended at the end of the 1990s.[14]


Cuccia shaped the Italian company patterns until 1992 when a bill became effective in order to encourage the privatization of state-owned companies and banks.[15] He was the major contributor to the merge of Montecatini and Edison into Montedison, which occurred in 1966.[16] The merger was the first reorganisation of the chemical industry.[7] He was also instrumental in Olivetti's takeover of Telecom Italia in 1999.[16][17] In addition to these much more visible activities, he "was the principal dealmaker (and breaker) in the secretive world of large private Italian capitalism."[18]

Personal life[edit]

Cuccia married Idea Nuova Socialista (meaning New Socialist Idea in English) Beneduce and had three children, two daughters and a son.[11][19] They had known each other since high school period and married in 1939.[15] Cuccia's spouse was the daughter of Alberto Beneduce, the founder and president of the IRI.[20]

Death and burial[edit]

Cuccia underwent an operation for prostate cancer in April 2000.[11] He died at the Monzino Foundation cardiological center in Milan on 23 June 2000 at the age of 92.[16] After a private funeral ceremony on 24 June, he was buried in the family graveyard in his villa in Meina, a village beside Lake Maggiore.[21][22][23] His body was laid under the body of his wife.[6]

However, Cuccia's corpse was stolen on 18 March 2001.[6][24] Thieves sent a letter, demanding a ransom of $3.5 million to be paid to a foreign bank account.[25] The corpse was found on a mountainside near Turin, and two men arrested in relation the incident at the end of March.[26][27] They were convicted and given a suspended sentence in December 2001.[26]

Legacy and personality[edit]

The square where the head offices of Mediobanca are located in Milan was named after Enrico Cuccia in September 2000.[28] In 1998, The Global Finance regarded him as one of the 600 most powerful financial players in the world.[29]

Cuccia never gave interviews and was not commonly seen in public despite his huge influence on the country's finance system.[19] He was interested in philosophy, mysticism and the work by James Joyce.[10]


  1. ^ a b R. Rugimbana; S. Nwankwo (2003). Cross-cultural marketing. Cengage Learning EMEA. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-86152-801-8. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Biografia Enrico Cuccia". Storia. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Stanley, Alessandra (24 June 2000). "Enrico Cuccia Is Dead at 92; Key Figure in Italian Banking". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Vito Avantario (2002), Die Agnellis: die heimlichen Herrscher Italiens (in German), Campus Verlag, p. 179, ISBN 9783593369068 
  5. ^ Tobias, J. "Sangue sull'altare", p.76
  6. ^ a b c Baker, Luke (18 March 2001). "Italians stunned by theft of famed banker's body". Express India. Rome. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Bonazzi, Maria Chiara (28 June 2000). "Enrico Cuccia". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Friedman, Alan (24 June 2000). "Enrico Cuccia, 92, Leader of Italian Capitalism, Dies". The New York Times. Rome. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Enrico Cuccia". The Telegraph. 24 June 2000. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Gino Moliterno, ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Italian Culture (PDF). London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-203-74849-2. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c Boudreaux, Richard (24 June 2000). "Enrico Cuccia; Key Italian Financier". Los Angeles Times. Rome. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (24 June 2000). "Italy's influential, reclusive banker". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "Morto Antonio Maccanico: fu ministro e presidente di Mediobanca". Corriere Del Mezzogiorno. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  14. ^ Burke, Greg (13 August 2001). "All In The Families". Time. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Zamagni, Vera (2009). "Governing the Italian economy: a comparative perspective". Journal of Modern Italian Studies. 14 (1): 46–51. doi:10.1080/13545710802642883. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c Monk, Catherine. "Enrico Cuccia. Italy's finance architect". Italia Online. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  17. ^ Ringshaw, Grant (9 July 2000). "Death in Milan". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  18. ^ Deeg, Richard (2005). "Remaking Italian Capitalism? The Politics of Corporate Governance Reform". West European Politics. 28 (3): 521–548. doi:10.1080/01402380500085756. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Rupert Cornwell (24 June 2000). "Obituary: Enrico Cuccia". The Independent. Retrieved 4 September 2013.  – via Questia (subscription required)
  20. ^ Roland Sarti (1 January 2009). Italy: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present. Infobase Publishing. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-8160-7474-7. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  21. ^ "Enrico Cuccia, 92". The Baltimore Sun. 25 June 2000. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  22. ^ Larner, Monica (25 March 2001). "Where Is the Body of Enrico Cuccia?". Bloomberg. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  23. ^ "Italy: Ransom Demand for Dead Banker". ABC News. 23 March 2001. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  24. ^ Simpson, Victor L. (20 March 2001). "Body snatching in Italy still a mystery". Herald Journal. Rome. AP. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  25. ^ "Man arrested in case of stolen body". Associated Press. Rome. 31 March 2001. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  26. ^ a b "Banker body theft: Two convicted". CNN. 6 December 2001. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  27. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (3 April 2001). "Arrests in body snatching". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  28. ^ "Milan". Mediobanca. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  29. ^ "The Global Finance 600: The World's Most Powerful Financial Players". Global Finance. 12 (9). September 1998.  – via Questia (subscription required)