March 9, 2016 / 6:53 PM / 2 years ago

Generali to pick new CEO on Friday, Donnet front runner - sources

MILAN, March 9 (Reuters) - Italy’s biggest insurer Generali is set to pick a new chief executive on Friday to replace Mario Greco who left the group earlier this year, two sources close to the matter said on Wednesday.

The insurer’s Italy Country Head Philippe Donnet is front runner to take the job, the sources said.

The appointment would see the powers of the insurer’s CFO Alberto Minali strengthened, they added.

Greco’s sudden departure to rival Zurich Insurance created uncertainty that has weighed on the Generali stock, leaving his successor facing challenges with the group’s capital base still below that of peers and its growth strategy untested.

Donnet, 55, a former manager at French insurer Axa and a current supervisory board member at Vivendi, has been in his current position at Generali since October 2013 and has been touted as the most likely successor to Greco for some time.

People familiar with the matter have said Donnet’s candidature was championed by French financier Vincent Bollore, one of the key shareholders of influential Italian investment bank Mediobanca, Generali’s biggest shareholder.

Generali declined to comment. (Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro; writing Francesca Landini; Editing by Crispian Balmer)

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