Massimo Cotella announces his departure from SGSS
One of the best known and highest profile figures in the securities services industry is leaving Société Générale Securities Services (SGSS) in early November.
Massimo Cotella, the Global Head of Coverage, Marketing and Liquidity Management at SGSS, who has commuted between Milan and Paris for the last four years, is reported to be looking for a better work-life balance and a fresh entrepreneurial challenge in his native Italy.
Cotella has led the commercial division of SGSS since 2011, having joined the French bank in 2006 when it purchased 2S Banca from Unicredit. He was central to the transaction and was appointed CEO of SGSS Spa following the deal.
It is a significant departure, because 2S Banca was largely the creation of Cotella, whose early banking experience was not in securities services but in treasury and capital markets at Credito Italiano in Chicago (1981-86), New York (1987) and Tokyo (1988-1990) as well as Milan.
Cotella did not enter the securities services industry until 1998, when he led the establishment of a transaction banking division at UniCredit. His experience in FX and derivatives trading with the bank in Milan (1990-97), where he was successively treasurer and head of capital markets, had convinced him that post-trade services could be a profit as well as a cost centre.
At the time, UniCredit was a minor force in Italian sub-custody and clearing – the only major client was Euroclear – and Cotella astutely used payments services to help grow the domestic Italian securities services, corporate trust and fund administration businesses of the bank.
Once it became clear that globalising the domestic franchise would require substantial additional investment, the then-CEO of UniCredit, Alessandro Profumo, elected to sell the business. Cotella led the abstraction of the various businesses from the bank into 2S Banca, which was sold to Société Générale for €548 million in September 2006.
Since joining SGSS as part of the acquisition, Cotella has been instrumental in a number of growth initiatives which have helped transform the perception and prospects of the French bank. The Global Broker Dealer Services business, announced at Sibos in Boston last month, is one of the new initiatives which must now succeed without the leadership of Cotella.
Cotella is understood to be planning a short break before taking up a new opportunity in the financial services industry in Italy.