MILAN May 18 The woman widely credited with
turning around the finances of Italy's Monte dei Paschi
foundation, an influential charity with connections to local
politicians, will step down when her mandate expires in June, a
newspaper reported on Sunday.
Antonella Mansi took the helm of the foundation last year
when it was still the top shareholder of Italy's third-biggest
bank, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena.
Mansi put the foundation back on a sound financial footing
but also set off what many say was a long-overdue unravelling of
the web of local patronage that nearly triggered the financial
collapse of both the bank and the foundation.
She cut the foundation's stake in the lender to 2.5 percent
from more than 30 percent to pay off debts.
The mayor of Siena, whose city council is the foundation's
top stakeholder, has repeatedly said he wanted Mansi to remain
in her post, and was quoted by Italian media this week as saying
that "there was no better candidate".
"The job I was assigned is done: the foundation is without
debts and with liquid assets of 450 million euros ($617
million)," Mansi, a 40-year-old chemicals company executive,
told financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore in an interview.
"I did not see the role as the foundation's chairwoman as a
form of career," she said.
The foundation said it could not comment on the matter.
Mansi told the paper she planned to return to her
entrepreneurial activities full time.
The first-quarter figures of the Banca Monte dei Paschi di
Siena contained some "initial positive signs", she said, adding
that it was important that the bank's restructuring plan, which
includes a 5 billion euro rights issue, will be executed within
established timelines and the lender returns to generating
income for shareholders.
($1 = 0.7297 Euros)
(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and