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October 2019


This is the banking case of 2019: an institution with 900,000 customers, almost 500 branches on the Italian territory and about 4200 employees engaged in the race against time to clean up its balance sheets, strengthen its assets and define a new recovery plan before the transition phase affects the institute basis and the confidence of its customers. This is the case of Carige (Cassa di risparmio di Genova), a reference institution for a region with a per capita income still above the European average, albeit in crisis in terms of employment, and acting as the landing of the crucial railway and logistics corridor Rotterdam-Genova.

The solution of the Carige node has involved in the last two years a large number of financial, entrepreneurial and professional actors and, in particular, it has taken on an institutional dimension since the European Central Bank has decided to place the bank under special administration in early 2019 : at the centre of the virtual table there were the three extraordinary commissioners (Pietro Modiano, Fabio Innocenzi, Raffaele Lener) in close contact with the ECB, Bank of Italy and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the presence of stakeholders grouped into at least four categories, i.e. the potential new investors (investment funds, banks), the major shareholders and bondholders, the business and industrial partners of the bank and the groups specialized in credit management  (such as Sga and Credito Fondiario).

The dialogue among all these subjects, and the path that in the second part of 2019 is supposed to lead to a 360-degree reorganization, also considering the laborious aspect of the operation, took place on a next-generation technology platform, a Virtual Data Room developed and customized "ad hoc" by Multipartner. The VDR provides all the necessary documentation, ensuring the highest level of security, data control and accesses to the subjects invited to enter the data room; therefore, not only institutions, funds, banks and partners but also legal and financial advisors and consultants (at least fifteen).

Some numbers reflect the size and the intensity of the activities that are bringing the above mentioned players to X-ray the assets of a bank with still 22 billion euros of assets and over 3 billion problematic loans in its portfolio. Since the opening of the due diligence, 50 GB of information have been uploaded to the Virtual Data Room into over 70,000 documents approximately, which were available 24/7/365 to authorized users) and consulted 5.5 million times. There is no doubt that these advanced tools are playing now a central role in the financial and governance activities of many organizations, so much so that recent studies by Gartner estimate an average growth in double digits for the Vdr market in the coming years, in terms of global turnover.

The complexity of the Carige dossier (with numbers, objectives and plans updated several times) and its ups and downs, which saw for example a long-term project working between two large international funds such as BlackRock and Apollo Management without concluding the operation, led to the multiplication of the interlocutors sitting at the virtual table : about 300 users were registered in the VDR (with "granular" configuration of the permissions granted to authorized users), 90% of whom with just a “viewer” role   (that is to say, without the permission to "print" documents in order to emphasize the confidentiality of the uploaded information and the need to track and monitor the activities of each individual and of third parties involved). The total accesses to the Multipartner's platform were 8.000 and a very heterogeneous solution emerged, if only for the number of players involved that should ensure the bank safety.

The Interbank Deposit Protection Fund played the pivot role but an industrial partner such as Central Bank came forward while new investors will come into play in the underwriting of a 200million bond and Sga will take over the problematic loans allowing the Ligurian bank to clean up these assets in its portfolios: all for a total intervention of 900 million euros that has already received the green light by the ECB and now goes towards the test of the shareholders meeting, before "exiting" the virtual platform to move on to the real test called "execution".

(translation from © Radiocor article)