Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Alberto de Benedictis

Professional career

Finmeccanica UK 2006-2015

Managing Director

He successfully repositioned the Group’s investments in the United Kingdom into a coherent and efficient organisation, one of the major suppliers to the UK government and among the main exporters in the country.

Initiatives

  • He planned and developed the positioning of the business in the UK within the Finmeccanica Group as source of reliable and sustained revenues and margins, also in adverse market conditions. Throughout that period, he preserved the Group’s position as second UK supplier of defence equipment to the UK Ministry of Defence.
  • He created and developed a highly skilled and efficient management group interfacing with stakeholders in the industry, ensuring coherence and integration with the Group organisational structure both centrally and locally.
  • He promoted a culture of excellence in corporate operations which allowed the Group to earn the highest recognition attributed to a supplier of the British Ministry of Defence, in terms of quality of the relationship and performance of contracts. 
  • He challenged and eliminated the internal barriers to start up joint activities between different operative units, ensuring great success in new markets, both domestic and foreign.
  • He held roles as Chairman or member of the board of directors of leading Tier 1 businesses and joint venture companies of the Finmeccanica Group, during extremely challenging market conditions in terms of finance, organisation, governance and market.
  • He successfully carried out the top management reshuffle and reorganisation of governance of DRS Technologies, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica in the United States which operates under the umbrella statutes imposed by the US security authorities.
  • He takes part in the Defence Industries Council, Defence Suppliers Forum and its executive committee, Member of the ADS Council, the British trade association for the sector. Chairman of the Security Committee of the European Association of the Aerospace and Defence Industries (ASD).
Finmeccanica Corporate, Italy - 1996 - 2005

Senior Vice President, Business Development 2002 - 2005
Head of strategic acquisitions for the Finmeccanica Group, developing a position on the US defence market and consolidating the Group’s position in the United Kingdom.

Initiatives
He negotiated and completed the acquisition of the electronic defence business of BAE Systems in Great Britain at the same time separating the respective Italian and British businesses of AMS, the pre-existing joint venture between the two shareholders.
  • He completed the acquisition of 50% of AgustaWestland property of GKN, in order to ensure total control for Finmeccanica of the Italian and English helicopter business, with the support of UK government authorities. • He developed market opportunities and relationships with the US Ministry of Defence to pave the way for future acquisitions.
  • Member of the Board of Directors and chairman of the Control committee of AMS NV (JV with BAE Systems) and AgustaWestland NV (JV with GKN). 
Senior Vice President, Strategic Finance and Acquisitions and Mergers 1996 – 2002
Head of development of new strategies of Finmeccanica in Aerospace and Defence, performing the largest reorganisation of Group investments and corporate recapitalisation, among which the largest share placement in Europe in 2001.

Initiatives
  • He developed Finmeccanica’s strategy for repositioning as primary operators in the Aerospace and Defence industry with important international establishments.
  • Acquisition of Hartmann Brown from Mannesmann in 1996, to create the third operator in the world in the control of industrial processes. 
  • From 1998 to 2001, he managed the reorganisation of the Group assets portfolio, organising, performing and negotiating the sale of more than 60 companies and equity interests, including the sale of Elsag Bailey Process Automation, listed on the NYSE, to ABB for $2.1 billion. The sales and restructuring of the portfolio were instrumental to settling Finmeccanica’s negative balance, pulling out of marginal markets and redirecting the business toward the Aerospace and Defence industry.
  • He reorganised and reclassified relationships with investors, managing with success in 1998 the first placement on the Milan Stock Exchange of Finmeccanica shares and in 2001 the placement of almost 70% of the capital on behalf of the shareholder IRI on international markets for a total value of more than €6 billion.
  • He negotiated and launched two important European equal share joint ventures in the defence sector, with highly innovative governance solutions on helicopters with GKN and electronic defence with GEC Marconi. • He developed a core of professionals in corporate finance, strategy and mergers and acquisitions, which constituted the powerhouse for the Group’s transformation between 1997 and 2001. • Board member, chairman of various committees of EBPA NV (NYSE), Brown and Sharpe (NYSE), Concentra (NASDAQ), Union Switch and Signal Inc., Ansaldo Signal NV, Firema S.p.A., Ansaldo Energia. 
Finmeccanica North America 1981 -1995

US Representative

Initiatives
  • With only one employee at the launch, he developed Finmeccanica in North America into a group of companies with domestic revenues of $1 billion and 6,500 employees with multiple sites in 12 US states.
  • He acquired the first important contract with the US Ministry of Defence, awarded to Isotta Fraschini of the Finmeccanica Group in 1984, for the supply of the engines for a new class of US mine hunters. 
  • He was head of projects and dealt with negotiation for the competitive sale of the car maker Alfa Romeo owned by Finmeccanica, to Ford Motor Co. and Fiat. The company had recorded losses of more than €200 million in 1985 and the sale to Fiat was completed successfully in just over 6 months with outstanding financial results for Finmeccanica.
  • He managed and supported the merger of the US companies Transcontrol, Union Switch & Signal (Westinghouse), Bailey Controls (McDermott International), Fisher and Porter (NYSE), merger of DEA (a company producing measuring machines) with Brown & Sharpe listed on the NYSE, the acquisition of a controlling equity interest in Concentra, listed on NASDAQ.
Other roles
The World Bank, Assistant to the Executive Director 1977 -1981

Academic Journey
Degree in Economics and business, La Sapienza University, Rome 1977
BSc (Summa cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington DC 1974

Awards

Grande Ufficiale all'Ordine della Stella, Repubblica Italiana 2015 [Grand Official of the Order of the Star of the Italian Republic 2015]