Italian construction and civil engineering group Salini Impregilo has announced the untimely passing of its chairman, Alberto Giovannini, best known in the financial services industry for identifying the so-called Giovannini Barriers to efficient clearing and settlement across the EU.
Some 20 years ago, Prof. Giovannini led a group of experts tasked with identifying ways of achieving greater harmonisation in EU financial services, notably in the areas of post-trade processing.
The committee produced two reports, published in 2001 and 2003 respectively, that together identified regulatory barriers to harmonisation and concrete recommendations to reduce them. The underlying principle was that the barriers should be replaced by a “set of technical standards, market conventions, regulations and laws that are consistent with a barrier free environment for the provision of post-trading services”.
The first report identified 15 barriers, ranging from market practice to regulatory requirements, tax procedures and issues of legal certainty that were then addressed in the second report. Giovannini argued that the cost of adopting his reforms would be outweighed by the resulting economic and social benefits.
At the time of the reports, Giovannini was active in the Italian asset management industry. Before moving into the private sector, he had spent part of his career as professor of finance and economics at Columbia Business School in New York and as a fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research and of the Centre for Economic Policy Research.