Vincent Boland: How the historic pride of Siena was undone by a thoroughly modern misjudgment
Founded in 1472, the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank has since survived wars, plagues, depressions, popes and the Mafia – only to be brought to its knees by a badly timed takeover
The most spectacular live event I have witnessed is the Palio, a horse race that takes place twice every summer around the Piazza del Campo, the central square in the Italian city of Siena. It has been run for nearly 400 years over several circuits of the piazza, and is an expression of local pride, community and rivalry at their most visceral.
The Palio is run by horses representing the districts of Siena. The jockeys ride...
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Vincent Boland: In the age of passive investing, there is a place for aggressive activism
It has been a watershed year for activist investors as some of the world’s largest corporations such as Exxon, Shell and Danone found their boards under siege. And the activists now have secretive world of commodity trading in their sights
Vincent Boland: Europe’s most unloved sector beginning to attract advances
The competition-heavy, investment-light approach to the once heavyweight sector has led it to near-extinction. Is the interest of US private equity firm KKR likely to bring one such casualty, Telecom Italia, back from the brink?
Vincent Boland: The current chill doesn’t have to lead to another Cold War
Last week’s first meeting between US president Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping did little to reduce the gulf between the two superpowers but there are some reasons to hope that the world can avoid a prolonged conflict
Vincent Boland: Japanese finance’s favourite Son loses knack of picking winners
Masayoshi Son’s attempt to reinvigorate his beloved SoftBank by mounting a share buyback is a lame attempt to rouse it out of its own inertia