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Morgan Stanley hires UBS banker Greco to head Italy financial services M&A - sources

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley has hired Emilio Greco from UBS to head financial services M&A in Italy, sources told Reuters, as the country’s banking sector braces for a new round of mergers to improve efficiency and boost profitability.

Greco, who spent almost nine years at UBS covering major financial services (FIG) transactions in Italy and payments deals across Europe, will start at Morgan Stanley at the end of June and will be based in London, two of the sources said.

Morgan Stanley and UBS declined to comment.

Greco, who started his career at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 1999, has worked on a series of capital increases for bailed-out bank Monte dei Paschi (MPS) as well as UniCredit and handled the listing of UniCredit’s online broker Finecobank and asset manager Anima among other deals.

He has a close relationship with UniCredit’s newly-appointed boss Andrea Orcel, who took him under his wing at Bank of America where Orcel ultimately became executive vice chairman of its investment bank.

Orcel later brought Greco over to UBS where he joined the FIG team while Orcel was running UBS’s investment banking unit between 2012 and 2018.

At Morgan Stanley, Greco will work closely with Massimiliano Ruggieri - who heads investment banking for Italy - and former finance minister Domenico Siniscalco, who serves as Italy country head and leads Morgan Stanley’s government coverage across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Greco’s appointment comes as Italy’s Treasury is working with advisers to secure a merger deal for MPS as part of efforts to return the bank to the private sector, with UniCredit seen as the best candidate to provide a long-term solution for the bank.

MPS has been backed by the Italian government since 2017 following an 8 billion euro ($9.50 billion) rescue deal.

$1 = 0.8423 euros Reporting By Pamela Barbaglia. Editing by Jane Merriman