Head Thinker

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Head Thinker

Article first published in Forbes Monaco March/April 2021 issue.

A private banking culture aligned with the expectations of elites led by Francesco Grosoli.

Every crisis is a sharp reminder that we must never be victims of the present,” insists Francesco Grosoli.

The CEO of CMB Monaco since May 2019 draws a parallel between being a successful bank and buying shares in a company. “If you buy stock when it is already popular your profit will be much lower than if you are able to see the potential of the company when others don’t. This same logic applies to our bank—we are not trying to replicate what others are doing but to be visionary, to anticipate emerging trends and to feel what will be wanted in the months and years to come.”

This “farsightedness philosophy” is the drive behind CMB Monaco’s rebranding in September 2020 that saw the bank legally change its name from Compagnie Monegasque de Banque and introduce a new logo and advertising visuals in English (“77.5% of Monaco residents are not Monegasque”).

“This was much more than a rebranding exercise,” assures Grosoli, 54. “The bank itself is changing and we want to redesign the concept of private banking and the private investment banking model.”

Founded in 1976, CMB Monaco is wholly owned by Mediobanca SpA, a specialized Financial Group listed on the Milan stock exchange, with total assets of €5.892 million as at December 31, 2020. The bank has a mission to partner with HNWIs and add value to their wealth. “Monaco is an incredible melting pot with a wide variety of profiles—philanthropists, top athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, influencers, YouTubers—the concentration of talent is unique. I have been in the Principality for 46 years and yet I still meet extraordinary people every week,” admits Grosoli.

“What we want to do is establish with them a feeling of affinity based on a common vision—a resolutely forward-looking vision and the ability to plan ahead and envisage several possible futures. In other words: we want CMB Monaco to be the ecosystem around these ahead-thinkers.”

On top of restructuring four key customer segments—expanding the private banking franchise, offering Monaco-based clients premier digital banking, serving corporate companies operating in Monaco and offering B2B services for asset managers and multi-family offices—CMB Monaco has a digital and disruptive private market offer also in the pipeline to give clients access to traditional assets, but also to be able to take advantage of more niche and exclusive opportunities.

“One key takeaway is that Covid has radically changed the way we spend our money and free time and, for many of us, our outlook on life. We need to factor these major societal changes into our investment view,” states Grosoli, whose 30-year career in finance in the Principality includes Barclays Monaco where in 2016 he was appointed CEO Private Bank EMEA.

“This health crisis has acted as an accelerator of change for us. We have been led to simplify our processes, to embrace remote working and to increase the use of digital technology. We have gained five to ten years in one year,” says Francesco Grosoli.

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Nancy Heslin is an established journalist and lifestyle writer. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Monaco magazine (bimonthly in English) , since the magazine's 2nd issue . Launched in November 2018, Forbes Monaco is part of the Forbes family, with its 7 million readers and 71 million monthly website visitors worldwide.