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JPM's Italian M&A chief quit for private equity after just two years

Everyone wants to get into private equity. Most people leave banking for private equity when they're analysts or associates. Some people wait and leave when they're an MD and country head.

So did Gianernesto Bernardi, at least. Bernardi moved to JPMorgan just two years ago and headed up the bank’s M&A activity in the country from Milan. He was at Mediobanca before that, co-heading the technology, media, and telecoms (TMT) offering. He’ll be based in Milan for Azzurra, as a partner at the firm.

Azzurra Capital is a small private equity firm based in Dubai. Its first fund closed around two weeks ago, with around €600m in funds and is focused on “European growth opportunity”, as per local reporting. Azzurra’s next aim is a Singapore-based fund.

Data from market intelligence provider Dealogic says that Italy’s M&A activity in the first quarter of 2023 amounted to approximately $91m, significantly smaller than neighboring markets such as France (which had a $294m market) and even Spain ($102m).

JPMorgan is also, strangely, not the only bank that’s lost its head of advisory after a relatively short time on the job. We’ve already noted Nezahat Gultekin leaving UniCredit last month after barely a year into the role.

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Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: Zeno.Toulon@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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