Fabrizio Cerina - Courtesy of J.Jacobson, 2015
|Nationality||Italian and Canadian|
|Years active||1995 – present|
Fabrizio Cerina is an investment banker and chairman of international investment banking group Crédit des Alpes.
Cerina has over 20 years' experience in investing capital and raising funds on behalf of institutional clients and large family offices. During his career he has been principal investor as well as advised upon over 200 transactions, mainly in the media & telecoms, real estate, and industrial sectors.
Cerina began his career by acquiring a 34% stake in Banque de Participations et de Placements, Geneva, which he subsequently sold to Lebanese buyer Al-Mashreg Bank, one of the largest banks in the Middle East at the time.
In 1982, he acquired Attel Bank, in which he invested CHF1.5 million (US$1.53 million), eventually listing the holding company in 1987 on the Luxembourg Exchange. The market cap grew to approximately CHF130 million (US$133 million).
Cerina was dubbed "a banker and a gentleman" by Swiss and international press in the nineties when, as the controlling shareholder of Attel Bank, he voluntarily refunded clients out of his own pocket after a rogue trader caused losses amounting to CHF45 million (US$46 million). The trader stole money from clients and dealt in unauthorized junk bonds and NASDAQ securities' trades.
Following a spin-off of the assets of Attel, Cerina rebuilt the business through Crédit des Alpes, now a successful investment bank advising on large international transactions. The bank put together the US$4.2 billion acquisition by Vivendi of Brazil telecoms company Global Village Telecom (GVT) in 2009 — then the largest telecoms deal in the world. Telecoms remains a key sector of importance for Cerina.
In real estate, Crédit des Alpes originated and acted as the sole investment bank on the sale of Cipriani-Saxony Ocean Resort, Miami, to a U.S. corporate investor. The sale in 2007, remains to date, one of the largest ever property transactions in Miami.
The bank is also active in the private equity domain. Its holding company, Crédit des Alpes Holdings SA, acquired Swiss Data Deposit, a producer of digital technology in 2006. In 1999, it bought Redaelli Tecna S.p.A., one of the world’s largest producers of steel wires, together with Kohlberg & Co of New York, and subsequently sold it in 2008, after a turn around, to Russia’s Severstal Metiz.
In January 2014, Crédit des Alpes announced that it had expanded its client offering in the United States after taking over three Miami-based real estate operators and property owners. The U.S. subsidiary, Crédit des Alpes Partners, focuses on sourcing and developing real estate investment opportunities in America and internationally, whilst its affiliated company, Real Value Properties, serves as realtor and property manager. The deal expands upon an earlier joint venture between Crédit des Alpes Group of Switzerland and Parinvest Asset Management in 2012 and is aimed at servicing a growing Latin American client base. 
Early life and education
Cerina was born in Parma. His father was an entrepreneur and his mother a housewife. Cerina went to school in Milan and Hertfordshire. As a young man he excelled in light athletics, particularly pole vaulting.
Cerina also served his compulsory military service as a Lieutenant in the Parachute Battalion of Carabinieri, the Italian civil and military police.
- "First Person: Fabrizio Cerina". Financial Times (London, UK) (21 July 2013).
- "Il "banchiere gentiluomo" abita a Lugano (The banker and gentleman lives in Lugano)". Il Messaggero (Italy) (25 October 1993).
- "Crédit des Alpes: Vivendi reprend GVT au Brésil (Crédit des Alpes leads on Vivendi deal to buy GVT in Brazil)". L'Agefi (Switzerland) (3 December 2009).
- "Analysis: Austrian deal to test EU's stand on telecoms M&A". Reuters (13 August 2012). 13 August 2012.
- "AT&T Scours Europe for Discount Deal Targets: Real M&A". Bloomberg (15 July 2013).
- Clark, Nick (5 February 2008). "Florida hotel added to Cipriani empire". London: The Independent (UK) (5 February 2008).
- "Crédit des Alpes neuer Besitzer von Swiss Data Deposit". Finanz und Wirtschaft (Switzerland) (5 July 2006). Archived from the original on 6 July 2011.
- "Credit Des Alpes Forms Property Venture with Miami Firms". Bloomberg (16 January 2014).
- "Credit Des Alpes Acquires Interest in Parinvest Group". Bloomberg (1 September 2012).