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Ricciardi to relaunch Espírito Santo Group

riccardibesThe former president of Banco Espírito Santo Investments (BESI) says he feels "proud" of the Espírito Santo name and intends to rebuild the brand and overcome the company’s "black period."

Recently released from the burden of running Haitong Bank, after disagreements with chairman Hiroki Miyazato, José Maria Ricciardi said he wanted to develop "professional activities of a different nature from the current ones."

Ricciardi is a cousin of the disgraced banker Ricardo Salgado, the former head of the collapsed Espírito Santo Group, the very business which Ricciardi says he wants to recreate - "it is still possible" to rebuild the group, but he realise that there are "great difficulties" in doing so.

Ricciardi remains intent on re-launching the name and the brand of Espírito Santo and intends to take the first step soon, according to an interview with Jornal Econômico.

Claiming to be sorry for "having trusted certain people," the former leader of the investment arm of BES did not name names, but did not have to as Ricciardi blames Ricardo Salgado for the financial collapse that left Group creditors with liabilities running into billions of euros.

Shrugging off the appalling associations that the name Espírito Santo now brings to mind, Ricciardi is intent on reviving it.

"It was a respected brand, valued for reputation, credibility and seriousness for more than 100 years. So the last ten, fifteen years, which were in fact very bad, are a black period that has passed but can be overcome," claims the failed banker.

In the interview with Jornal Economico, arranged perhaps as a start to his own rehabilitation, Jose Maria Ricciardi said that his greatest regret is "to have trusted certain people in the organisation" to which he belonged, referring to the Espírito Santo Group, adding that this prevented him from realising "sooner rather than later what was going wrong."

"People actually lose their minds over money, when I realised this, I did everything I could, but it was too late," he added, while concluding he had been "naive" in not anticipating the collapse of the organisation before the summer of 2014.

As for his performance at BESI, Ricciardi added that he regretting not having been able to turn Banco Espírito Santo Investments into a global investment bank, but claimed that he had been "half way through this process" before it was sold to the Chinese.

The former banking chief will be afforded interviews due his name and earlier positions but his optimism that people again will rally around the Espírito Santo banner may be misplaced.

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+2 #2 chez 2017-01-23 09:05
Replace "Naive" with, couldn't give a s**t and you may be nearer the truth.
+2 #1 Peter Booker 2017-01-20 10:20
Anyone who is guilty of naiveté of this order is probably still naive. Which he demonstrates by hoping to revive the Espírito Santo name.

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