Lectio Doctoralis – University of Bari – 26 April 2002

For the first time in their history, the University of Bari's Faculty of Economics awarded a Honoris causa degree. The University of Bari’s decision to award a “honoris causa” degree to Geronzi was motivated, as written in the explanatory statement, by his most recent work in the redesign and privatization of the Italian banking system, increasing its international influence and developing a multifunctional central point for banking in the Central and Southern regions of the country so as to mitigate existing regional imbalances and revitalize the economy of the entire south. In addition, "this complex integration/rationalization, a result of the insight and intense work of Cesare Geronzi, encouraged the development of a special collaboration with the academic world through educational research projects focused on the application of the best management techniques and technological solutions for company administration. In light of these important contributions," concluded the explanatory statement, "a special acknowledgement should be offered to the consistency and clarity of his intelligence, anchored in a deep knowledge of the functional mechanisms of the banking system and his determined and far-seeing work in the field of banking".

Mr. Geronzi, as President of the Banca di Roma, reading his lectio doctoralis, noted that the "strong point of the new group will be a multichannel business model aimed at growing market shares through the cross selling of products and services to clients as well as its extensive penetration into the fastest growing areas of business”. He concluded that, "the optimal operation and, especially, the success of a business is possible only if the activities of all those involved reflect, to some degree, more far-reaching values than those of individual advantage and opportunism. Values that explicitly or implicitly are entwined with ethics. The manager and the banker, when performing the "specialized" tasks of banking, from free and independent judgement to the strong involvement of staff and resources in decision making, must not dismiss, any more than any other person, the essential role of ethics in all actions”.