A native of Brescia, Italy, he developed his career and international outlook as a business economist in Milan.
Marco Vitale was born in Brescia on August 1st, 1935, and has been a resident of Milan since 1962.
He is married with Mimma and together they have two sons (Luca and Nicola) and three grandchildren (Pietro, Martino and Arianna).
He completed his secondary education at Brescia’s Liceo Arnaldo, where he was awarded a Humanities diploma with high marks.
He ranked first in Italy and second in Europe in the 1955 European School Day competition among the best secondary school students, with a paper on European unification.
He was awarded a four-year scholarship for the Ghislieri college at the University of Pavia, where he graduated in Jurisprudence (Public Sector Economics) in 1959, with a thesis on the European Economic Community’s fiscal and financial problems (supervisor: Prof. Giannino Parravicini). He studied economics with Prof. Ferdinando Di Fenizio.
He was awarded a German government scholarship for a one-year advanced course at Munich University, where he studied economics and the German fiscal system, and the Bank of Italy’s Bonaldo Stringher scholarship for a one-year further study period in the USA (which he did not undertake due to work commitments).
Between 1960 and 1962 he worked for the Associazione fra le Società italiane per azioni, the association of Italian public limited companies, as assistant to Prof. Cesare Cosciani, focusing on public sector finance and the evolution of tax law in European Economic Community (EEC) countries.
Between 1962 and 1979 he worked at Arthur Andersen & Co., an accountancy and consulting multinational of which he became a partner in 1969, and where he specialised in financial analysis, business planning issues and company acquisition techniques, becoming a leading promoter for the introduction and development of financial statement certification in Italy. By consulting for major national and international groups he achieved significant professional success, fostering his wide-ranging international experience.
In 1979 he left Arthur Andersen and, with another of the firm’s former partners, he founded Vitale Novello & Co. Srl (formerly Bersani Vitale), a management consulting firm of which he is President and leader, working as a top management consultant for leading industrial and financial groups. He focuses chiefly on medium and large-sized high quality family businesses, for many of whom he has also acted as board member or chairman: at Same-Deutz, tractors; Recordati, pharmaceuticals; Smeg, household appliances; LU-VE, heat exchangers; Snaidero, kitchen furniture; Ermenegildo Zegna, textiles and clothing; ASM (the former public utilities company of the town of Brescia) and others.
He was the co-founder and Executive President of the main companies within the Arca Group (Arca Spa, a private equity firm, and Arca Merchant Spa), between 1984 and 1992. The group was created jointly by several major Italian cooperative banks. He played a leading role in the introduction and development of investment fund management and of merchant banking activities in Italy.
From 1986 to 2003 he was President of AIFI, the association of Italian merchant banks and private equity firms.
He was Vice-President and member of the Executive Committee for the Banca Popolare di Milano cooperative bank between 2001 and April 2009. He also held various director posts within the same group between 1994 and 2009.
Until June 2008 he was the President of Bipiemme Gestioni SGR, the BPM Group’s asset management company, managing a portfolio worth nearly €19 billion.
From July 1992 to June 1994 he was President of the Ferrovie Nord Milano railway company, then in serious difficulties, which he restructured and revitalised.
From June 1993 to June 1994 he served as Councillor for economic activity on the Milan city council (bookkeeping and budgeting – council planning and control – finance and taxation – property and assets – economic and managerial supervision of companies controlled by the city council and of public utility companies). During this time, he played a key role in the establishment of the Università Milano – Bicocca university, in the extension of Bocconi University, and in the transformation of the AEM utility company into a Plc and its subsequent stock exchange listing.
Between July 1994 and May 1998 he acted as special commissioner for Milan’s Ospedale Maggiore – Policlinico hospital, where he initiated a significant modernization process.
He has been very active in promoting entrepreneurial methods and values in local council administrations and in the South of Italy, where his most significant roles were those of President of the new maritime container terminal in Gioia Tauro, Calabria, and board member of the Società per lo Sviluppo dell’Imprenditoria Giovanile, the association for the development of youth entrepreneurship, from 1994 to 1999.
In recent years he has also worked on strategic planning and local development issues, among them:
- from November 2003 to November 2004 he was Supervisor and scientific adviser in the project for the creation of the strategic plan of the town of Caltagirone, Sicily;
- from January 2006 to March 2007 he was Supervisor and scientific adviser in the project for the creation of the strategic plan of the town of Caltanisetta, Sicily;
- in 2006 he was Supervisor and scientific adviser for a survey on the Campania region’s economy, appointed by the Campania section of Confidustria, the confederation of Italian industry;
- between 2004 and 2008 he led the working group charged by the provincial authorities of Sondrio, Italy, with drawing up the proposal for including the terraced vineyards of the Valtellina valley’s northern side in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list, a project that was later suspended;
- between 2005 and 2006 he acted as Supervisor and scientific adviser for the ‘Il Cremasco – elementi per una strategia di sviluppo’ project, focusing on the development strategy for 48 towns in the province of Cremona, Italy;
- the project was later extended to another part of the Cremona province, the Casalasco.
He currently acts as consultant for privatisation and development activities to several Italian town councils.
He is very experienced in the transportation industry, within which he held several top-level positions:
- from July 1992 to June 1994 he was President of the Ferrovie Nord Milano railway company, then in serious difficulties, which he restructured and revitalised;
- he was one of the proponents and originators of the maritime Container Terminal in Gioia Tauro, Calabria, as well as President of its operating company, Medcenter Terminal Container Spa, and of its majority shareholder and parent company, Contship Italia Spa, Genoa (which also operates the La Spezia Container Terminal); he was active in these roles until 2000;
- he was a member of the Advisory Board for Ferrovie dello Stato, Italy’s national railways;
- he worked on the project for the building of a light rail public transport system in Brescia, Italy;
- he founded the Research Centre on transport economics at the Carlo Cattaneo University in Castellanza, Italy;
- from September 2004 to September 2006 he was in charge of the advisory service to the local municipal council for the Comiso airport re-opening project in Sicily; he led a team of professionals tasked with drawing up a new development plan for the airport and for the surrounding area;
From March 1999 to June 2000 he was appointed by the Italian Prime Minister as Sole Commissioner in charge of the coordination and deployment of private funds for humanitarian aid in Kosovo (the Arcobaleno mission, privately funded).
Teaching and educational activities:
From 1972 to 1983 he was a Professor in tax law at the University of Pavia, Italy.
From 1982 to 1992 he was a lecturer at Bocconi University, Milan, teaching the ‘Entrepreneurial values and business strategy’ course within the Business Administration degree course.
He was Vice-President, President of the Scientific Committee, Director of the business administration department and lecturer in business strategy at the Carlo Cattaneo University in Castellanza, Italy, a new private university he helped found.
He was coordinator of the business administration department and lecturer at the ISTAO graduate specialisation institute in Ancona, Italy, created by economist Giorgio Fuà and specifically focused on economics and management training for central-southern Italian students.
He was President of the ISTUD Foundation for business and management education from June 2005 to June 2008, contributing to its relaunch.
He has been a member of the European Federalist Movement since 1955.
He was Vice-President of the Sturzo International Study centre; he is a member of the Steering Committee of the Olivetti Foundation; he was a long-standing President of the Scientific Committee for the Associazione Nazionale delle Imprese Familiari, the Italian federation of family businesses, of which he now is a committee member; he was a board member of Milan’s Società di Incoraggiamento Arti e Mestieri, the association promoting arts and crafts; he is a national councillor for the FAI Foundation (Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano, the Italian environmental protection fund); he is a member of the Scientific Committee of ISVI, an institute promoting business values.
He was the first President of the Fondo Investimenti Italiano, the Italian investment fund, with a share capital of €1.2 billion, established jointly by the Italian Treasury, Confindustria, ABI (the Italian banking association) and Banca Intesa, Unicredit, Monte dei Paschi, Crediop and other banks, designed to support expansion and internationalisation projects in SMEs.
He is a contributor to several newspapers and journals, and has co-authored the following (publishers in brackets): ‘Società, bilanci e borse valori in un mercato mobiliare evoluto’ (Etas-Kompass); ‘La riforma delle società per azioni’ (Giuffré); as well as the author of the following: ‘La lunga marcia verso il capitalismo democratico’ ( Il Sole-24 Ore); ‘Liberare l’economia: le privatizzazioni come terapia alla crisi italiana’ ( Marsilio); ‘Le Encicliche sociali, il rapporto fra la Chiesa e l’economia’ ( Il Sole-24 ore); ‘Sviluppo e Spirito d’Impresa’ ( Il Veltro); ‘America. Punto e a capo’ (Scheiwiller); ‘Il Mito Alfa’ (Egea, Bocconi); ‘I proverbi di Calatafimi’ (ESD Edizioni); ‘Gli angeli nella città’ (ESD Edizioni); ‘Passaggio al futuro. Oltre la crisi, attraverso la Crisi’ (Edizioni Egea – Bocconi); ‘Corruzione’ (ESD Edizioni, 2010); ‘Responsabilità nell’Impresa’ (Piccola Biblioteca d’Impresa Inaz, 2010); ‘Longevità’ (ESD Edizioni, 2011); ‘Viaggio nello sport italiano’ (ESD Edizioni, 2011); ‘Spiritualità nell’Impresa’ (Piccola Biblioteca d’Impresa Inaz, 2011); ‘L’impresa responsabile’ (ESD Edizioni, 2014).
Together with Carlo G. Lacaita he devised and published the first bilingual edition in Italy (Scheiwiller) and in the USA (Lexington) of the essay by Carlo Cattaneo ‘Del pensiero come principio d’economia publica’ (2001).
His website is www.marcovitale.it
He is a keen mountaineer, cyclist and traveller, and has journeyed up or around the mountains of Alaska (Denali), Bolivia (Ancohuma – Illampu), China (Minya Konga), Karakorum (Broad Peak) and the Argentinian Andes (Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre). He has travelled across most of Italy by bicycle, a first-rate method for observing the evolution of the Italian economy as it really is, and not as it is said to be.