Multifaceted supportSUPPORTING STUDENTS, INVESTING IN RESEARCH AND TEACHING, DEVELOPING ITS CAMPUS: BOCCONI UNIVERSITY CAN DO ALL THIS ALSO THANKS TO THE SUPPORT OF INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERS AND MANY ALUMNI. HERE ARE TEN STORIES OF INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES THAT HAVE CHOSEN TO FOCUS ON THE EDUCATION OF THE NEW GENERATIONS.
Achille and Giulia Boroli Foundation
For Europe and Young People
"My father had two very strong interests: the education of young people and the European cause, of which he was a staunch supporter from the very beginning". It is with this spirit in mind that the Achille and Giulia Boroli Foundation has constantly supported the University with donations and initiatives since 2006, says Andrea Boroli, Bocconi graduate and vice president of the Foundation founded in 1998. From scholarships and degree prizes for young Bocconians to the Bocconi-Boroli lectures on European issues, the 2015-2018 initiative entitled ‘Europeans’, the establishment of the Achille and Giulia Boroli Chair in EU Studies assigned to Gianmarco Ottaviano, on up to the very recent 'Generation EU' initiative promoted jointly with newspaper La Repubblica and dedicated to high school students. All the projects supported by the Boroli foundation respond to that special amalgam that binds the cultural development of young people to the promotion of European values. "My father was convinced that Europe could correct many of Italy’s defects and today we continue to defend this idea, even during the difficult moments, when recently, even in our country, various currents of thought became opposed to European integration".
Vice-president of the Achille and Giulia Boroli Foundation and member of the Board of Directors of the De Agostini publishing group, Andrea Boroli graduated from Bocconi University in 1976 "with a thesis on the analysis of the market for installment purchases," he says. "During my years of study, I was particularly interested in the subjects that looked at the development of Italian industry and European economic history". Today, still close to the alma mater through the Foundation, he emphasizes the role of Bocconi "in being a stimulus and forerunner for certain issues in Italian society".
Helping Research for a Sustainable World
“When I realized the sheer size of climate change, I decided to devote my energies to helping solve the problem.” This is how alum Alice Bordini summarizes what pushed her, about eight years ago, to direct her commitment to sustainability. A commitment that today sees her overseeing sustainable investments for the UK’s Financial Reporting Council, and advising the National Trust, the legal NGO ClientEarth, and the House of Commons, in her role as a sustainable finance policy consultant. In 2019, she decided to support Bocconi University, by putting climate change at the center of her donation’s remit. Together with her husband Lawrence Staden, Ms Bordini has decided to finance the Bocconi GREEN (Geography, Resources, Environment, Energy and Networks) research center and in particular the research projects started by Valentina Bosetti, Professor of Climate Economics: "The fight against climate change is the greatest challenge of our generation and I believe that funding research is the best way to invest donation funds".
Bordini graduated in Finance from Bocconi in 1997 with a thesis on the stochastic models of controlled financial markets. She remembers well her years at Bocconi and in particular her thesis in financial mathematics done under the supervision of Lorenzo Peccati. That opened for her "the gates of London hedge funds, still a relatively obscure world back then.” Today, after a career in financial investment and the founding of her own company (GLC Advisors), Alice Bordini is a member of the Advisory Panel of the UK Government's Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the Investment Committee of the National Trust, and consults for ClientEarth. She also sits on the Advisory Council of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Finance of the UK Parliament.
BNL BNP Paribas
A Donation to Put Customers at the Center
"Putting people in a position to express themselves at their best, giving everyone a chance, is part of the DNA of our Group", explains Andrea Munari, President of BNL BNP Paribas and CEO of BNL until April 2021. The French bank has developed a partnership with Bocconi, to support the University’s faculty and research, by endowing in 2017 the BNP Paribas Chair in Marketing and Service Analytics held by Andrea Ordanini. The chair was created to study the evolution of
"I am an accidental banker.” This is how Andrea Munari, Bocconi alum, president of BNL BNP Paribas describes himself. He was formerly CEO of BNL, a position now held by another Bocconian, Elena Patrizia Goitini. “I came to the financial world as a second thought. I actually started out in manufacturing,” he says. A 1989 graduate in Economics with a thesis on the duration of investment portfolios, "which was a concept that was only beginning to evolve then", of his Bocconi years he remembers the love-hate relationship he had with the more purely quantitative subjects. "For me, who came from a classical high school, quantitative subjects were the most difficult ones. However, the quantitative approach is something I appreciated later in life, since it has been very useful for my professional career”.
From New York, at the Helm of Friends of Bocconi
Mariafrancesca Carli, Managing Director BDT & Company in New York, remembers with a certain nostalgia her years on the campus of Bocconi University. Then it was decidedly smaller, but it already offered students an intense life, made up of close relationships with each other and with professors. Perhaps it is also due those memories that one of the ways you support Bocconi University is to name a classroom in the new building in Via Sarfatti 10, designed by the Japanese studio SANAA. "This is a significant investment for Bocconi University, which testifies to the ambition to maintain a leadership position in Italy and abroad," explains the alum. "The Bocconi campus is state-of-the-art and unique. It is another effective way to encourage internationalization by attracting students and professors from abroad.” A former student at MIT's Sloan School of Management, and a US resident for years, Mariafrancesca Carli is well aware of the importance of a campus for a university. Among other things, from New York, she also supports Bocconi through her activity as president of the Board of Directors of Friends of Bocconi, the charity that promotes Bocconi projects in the USA.
In finance since graduation, Mariafrancesca Carli has been Managing Director of BDT & Company and was Managing Director of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan in London and New York. President of the Board of Director of Friends of Bocconi, you have always maintained a strong bond with her alma mater: “Bocconi was the most formative moment of my academic life, but also a time of great personal growth. The university years are incredible years in which the foundations of one's future are laid. " She graduated in 1988 in political economy with Mario Monti as supervisor of her thesis, and she has a precise memory of that day when the current Bocconi president proclaimed her a graduate: "It was an unforgettable day of satisfaction and the realization of a great dream ".
Enel and Enel Foundation
A partnership that energizes research
Supporting partner as part of Bocconi's Partner for Development program, the Enel Group has long given its support to the University in the context of various student support programs (among others, the Bocconi Merit Award and tuition remission scholarships for the Bocconi Master in Green and Energy Management which has now become MASEM – Master in Sustainability and Energy Management, as well as the Master in Accounting, Auditing & Control – MAAC, the Master in Quantitative Finance and Risk Management –MAFINRISK, and the full-time SDA Bocconi MBA Program). Enel has also supported Bocconi research on energy economics, sustainable mobility, and digital transformation. Bocconi University is in fact one of the academic partners of the Enel Group within the We4U (World energy for Universities) program, whose aim is to ensure a constant and multidisciplinary dialogue between business and academia focusing on the challenges of the energy transition. “The program sees the participation of a selected group of 14 of the best universities in the world. Among these, in addition to Bocconi, there are MIT, Columbia and Berkeley,” explains Ernesto Ciorra, Chief Innovability Officer of Enel and General Manager of the Enel Foundation. “The network wants to stimulate collaboration across universities. The goal is the shared development of intellectual capital.” A transversal and broad-spectrum form of financial support, therefore, which has steadily flowed from Enel and the Enel Foundation to Bocconi since 2007.
Ernesto Ciorra, Bocconi alumnus and General Manager of Enel Foundation, has been Chief Innovability Officer of Enel since 2014. He graduated with a thesis titled "Transgressive advertising: historical analysis, sociological interpretation and managerial implications" and it is precisely the interdisciplinary mix of subjects he appreciated during his years at Bocconi: "The professors weren’t single-minded, they were individuals of profound culture. I can remember discussing poetry with Gianguido Scalfi, who was a Full Professor of Private Law, or debating philosophy with Gabriele Troilo, who taught marketing.” Not only that: “I enthused over company visits and business case histories. Back then, in the 1990s, none of my colleagues coming from other universities had the opportunity to work on actual business cases.”
Massimo Della Ragione
Making University a Truly Possible Choice
When he received a letter in which the student he had supported informed him that he had graduated and found a job, Massimo Della Ragione, Co-Head of Goldman Sachs in Italy, alum and professor of investment banking at Bocconi, understood that he had made the right choice. "I supported the University's Una Scelta Possibile program because access to education, after health, is the primary good," explains Della Ragione, who contributed to the program together with his wife Valentina Pan, also from Bocconi. "When I read Christian's words, I realized that our support had really worked." Because, as he himself says, when it comes to supporting an institution economically, "they must be organized in receiving the funds and transparent in using them. We must be able to trust that our support is invested in what was proposed. At Bocconi I found exactly this.” This is why Massimo Della Ragione decided to renew his commitment to supporting the development of Bocconi students in 2021 by funding a total exemption for a three-year student.
Co-Head of Goldman Sachs in Italy and Country Coordinator for Italian business, Bocconi professor and Head of Digital Tech Vertical of the Bocconi accelerator for Innovation, Massimo Della Ragione graduated from Bocconi in 1989, in business administration. From those years he remembers the charm of university life, but also "the mixture of creativity and discipline" that Bocconi represented. "You could organize your studies as you liked, but this freedom was framed in a highly organized system of exams throughout the year". Thanks to the thesis on consolidated financial statements, the first internship was in Montedison: "But when Ferruzzi Finanziaria arrived, they cut costs and the internship did not turn into a job". Then I arrived at Credito Italiano, where, with subsequent privatizations, "I began with investment banking and from there with my career".
Supporting Education Benefits the Whole Community
High quality education. Throughout their 25-year partnership with Bocconi University, this key concept has always motivated Assicurazioni Generali in their aim to support the University's development. For instance, in 2017 it led to the establishment of the Generali Chair in Insurance and Risk Management assigned to Professor Stefano Rossi. The study of STEM subjects among young women is also promoted through the 'Generali 4 Girls in STEM' scholarship (partial waiver), which was assigned to Clara Marioni, a student in the Data Science and Business Analytics program. “Contributing to quality education in the communities where it does business is part of Generali’s purpose,” explains Monica Possa, Bocconi alum and Group Chief HR & Organization Officer at Generali. "The excellence of universities is based on the quality of teaching and research, which in turn create the necessary fabric for the attractiveness of the university." In this regard, "I really like Bocconi's motto, 'Knowledge that matters,' because that is exactly it: encouraging knowledge that is not an end in and of itself, but that is useful for the progress of the community."
Monica Possa, Group Chief HR & Organization Officer at Assicurazioni Generali, graduated with Fabrizio Onida in 1989 with a degree in DES and a focus in international economics. "My thesis? It was on international trade models in imperfect markets.” And looking back on her university years, the manager remembers the power of modeling as one of the elements that stayed with her the most: "More than concepts, Bocconi's true legacy is curiosity and powerful tools for understanding the world. Models and tools that allow you to think about complex problems and find solutions,” she says. “I remember Angelo Guerraggio's lectures: despite having attended a classical high school before Bocconi without a focus on math, I learned the great value of this subject for tackling problems with logic and rigor.”
On Behalf of Women (in Finance)
The support from Bocconi alum Simona Maellare, Global Co-Head of Alternative Capital Group at UBS, has a specific goal: to promote women's participation in finance, dispelling one of the myths that circulate in that setting, namely that it is men’s work. In 2018, Simona supported the student Valentina Fregnani, who has recently graduated from the Finance program. She then renewed her commitment in 2020, supporting Alice Cairoli's academic path, who is currently on campus attending the same Master of Science. “The thing that made me most proud was not so much being able to support their academics,” says the alumna, thinking in particular of Valentina, already in the world of work. "Rather, it was being able to guide and direct her at the time of graduation, to allow her to find the best way forward." This form of mentoring “helped her spread her wings.” Simona also feels grateful to her University and remembers the moment in London a few years ago when Rector Gianmario Verona told her about Bocconi's development projects. “I want to support the University in a concrete way,” she explains. "Bocconi's impact on society is very important and it must be encouraged."
"At Bocconi I had a very theoretical academic career," says Simona Maellare, Global Co-Head of Alternative Capital Group at USB. She graduated guided by Francesco Giavazzi and Francesco Corielli in 1994 with a degree in Political Economy (her thesis focused on the transmission channels of monetary policy) and then completed the 'Master in Economics' program in 1995. "During university, I always thought I wanted to do a PhD in Economics, then when I got an offer from JP Morgan to work in investment banking, I knew that was the direction for me." In addition to being Vice President at JP Morgan in London and an 8-year experience as Managing Director of the London branch of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, she has worked in the top management at UBS for 7 years leading up to the role she holds today.
An All-Round Kind of Support
Over the years, he has contributed to various projects for the financial support of students, for example through the Bocconi Alumni Scholarship Fund, where he donated for the creation of several scholarships in memory of the Italian ambassador and Bocconi graduate Luca Attanasio, recently killed in the DRC. He also gave a donation to name one of the study rooms in the Bocconi Library after his parents. The support to Bocconi University of Eugenio Morpurgo, Founding Partner and CEO of Fineurop Soditic, has taken different forms and methods over the years, but always followed the same thread. "Conceiving giving back to the University not as mere restitution but as the joy of again being part of a community that shares like-minded values ". In recent years, as a result, in addition to contributing through various donations, Morpurgo has devoted his time to filling various institutional roles in the alumni community. The latest of these is his appointment as Chair of the Bocconi Alumni Fundraising Committee within the Board of Directors of the Bocconi Alumni Community, created this year out of several existing alum associations. Not only that: "I believe I have the record for loyal attendance of dinner speeches organized by the alumni community!", he says jokingly.
Founding Partner and CEO Fineurop Soditic, a corporate finance consultancy, Eugenio Morpurgo has a very specific memory linked to his years at Bocconi (where he is now a contract lecturer). "It’s about the German language exam at AIESEC which allowed me to do an internship in Stuttgart at the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI), the organization that represents the interests of German industry, where I then met the person who introduced me to the professional world where I am still working today". Some time ago, putting his parents' things in order, he found the honors medal given to cum laude graduating students: "I hadn't seen the Bocconi medal since I graduated in 1984, with a thesis on European directives imposing transparency in the financial dealings between national states and state-owned enterprises.”
At the Forefront of Alumni
Even after he left the position of President of the Bocconi Alumni Community, Riccardo Monti has continued to support the University: along with his wife Vittoria ("We are a team, we do everything together") he chose to establish a named scholarship for a Master of Science student. But the gift from this alum, Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group and President of the Bocconi Alumni Community until Silvia Candiani took over, is only the latest in a long series of donations to programs supporting students, and in particular to named funds from Alumni linked to fundraising initiatives promoted within the Community. One of these is the MBA Reunion Scholarship Fund: “Anyone who chooses to attend an MBA develops a keen sense of belonging to their Alma Mater. This team spirit gave us the idea to raise funds for an entire scholarship for one student,” explains Monti, recalling its genesis. He has personally supported the University's initiatives and promoted a culture of giving back through his various institutional roles for alumni. "What has always guided me", concludes Riccardo Monti, "has been a commitment to ensuring that others had the opportunity to access the same path I did."
A degree in engineering from Politecnico di Milano, four and a half years in the workplace, then the decision to attend SDA Bocconi MBA 14: "Without it I would not have started working in consulting," says Riccardo Monti, Managing Director and Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group. “I designed bridges, I had a very technical professional profile, but I lacked managerial tools. The MBA allowed me to round out my curriculum.” Since then, Riccardo Monti's connection to Bocconi has never been broken. He has held various institutional roles within the alumni community over the years: he was the last President of AMSDA, the association of SDA alumni, he was first Vice President then President of the BAA and finally President of the Bocconi Alumni Community until 2020.
Read here the interview with Bruno Busacca, Bocconi's Dean of Fundraising and Alumni Engagement
Read the 10 stories in the Bocconi magazine 'viaSarfatti25'
by Andrea Celauro