La Centrale società per il finanziamento di imprese elettriche was established in Leghorn on October 10, 1925 as a holding of the major Central Italy’s electricity and telephone Group, which had been created upon the initiative of the Società ligure toscana di elettricità (Selt, created in Leghorn in 1905) and the Società elettrica Valdarno (set up in Florence in 1905 and fully controlled by Selt since 1923), to which also the Società Telefonica Tirrena (Teti, 1924) belonged, which was the licensee of the "fourth telephone area" including the Liguria, Tuscany, Latium and Sardinia regions.
The Group – representing the Orlando’s and Pirelli’s family interests, with the strong support of the Credito Italiano – witnessed further great expansion between the second half of the 1920s and the 1930s. With the expiry of telephone licensees (and the subsequent transfer of Teti to IRI in 1957) and the nationalisation of the electricity industry in 1962, also La Centrale – since 1957 named "Finanziaria generale" – followed the trend shared by large private electricity groups to diversify investment (focusing on the food, household appliances, building and public works sectors).
In the late 1970s this led to the gradual disappearance of the industrial groups which had directly controlled the holding company since the late 1930s, namely the Pirelli and Orlando families, to leave room to new shareholders (such as RAS, the Banca d'America e d'Italia, the Bonomi Bolchini family).
In 1971, for a short lapse of time the holding company was controlled by the English Hambros Bank on behalf of Michele Sindona. In November 1971 La Centrale became part of the Banco Ambrosiano Group, thus turning from an industrial holding into a banking and insurance holding company and acquiring significant shareholdings in the Credito Varesino (1972), the Toro Assicurazioni (1973) – subsequently assigned to the Nuovo Banco Ambrosiano established in 1982 – and the Banca Cattolica del Veneto (1972).
In 1985 the Nuovo Banco Ambrosiano and la Centrale merged and the latter took over the Milan credit institution by adopting its denomination and corporate aim.
Acquisition of Sviluppo del Mediterraneo, with registered office in Rome, which was turned into La Centrale Sviluppo del Mediterraneo.After the merger and the new denomination of the Group as la Centrale Finanziaria Generale S.p.a., appointment of Prof. Giancarlo Elia Valori as President of the Group.
Entry of institutional shareholders such as Generali, Allianz and BPER and increase of stock capital up to 49 million euros approximately.
La Centrale Sviluppo del Mediterraneo S.p.a. was merged into La Centrale Finanziaria generale S.p.a
New Corporate Strategic Plan
The Plan aims at relaunching the Group La Centrale Finanziaria Generale by refocusing its strategic vision, in line with the qualitative standing of the corporate and international structure of its new business partners.
The Presidency’s network of relations and the shareholders’ significant contribution and support require the Group to set ambitious goals in terms of repositioning on the Italian market.
Radical restructuring at corporate and management levels.
Adoption of a new business plan and resumption of the role of strategic guidance and coordination of subsidiaries, as well as adoption of operations conducive to its relaunch.
Implementation of the business plan by means of operations suitable for ensuring development and generating recurrent revenue and stable operating profit.