Ennio Doris was born in Tombolo on 3 July 1940. For over forty years he was the undisputed protagonist of Italian big finance as well as an entrepreneur, banker and founder of Banca Mediolanum, one of the most important companies on the national banking scene also present in Spain, Germany and Ireland.
Married since 1966 to Lina Tombolato, he leaves two children – Massimo and Sara – and seven grandchildren: Agnese, Alberto, Anna, Aqua, Davide, Luna Chiara and Sara Viola. In 1992 he was awarded the honor of Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and in 2002 that of Cavaliere del Lavoro. Also in 2002 he obtained the Master honoris causa in “Banking and Finance” from the CUOA Foundation.
From 2000 to 2012 he held the position of Director in Mediobanca SpA and Banca Esperia SpA From 1996 he was Chief Executive Officer of Mediolanum SpA, the holding company of the Group, until 2015, the year of the merger by incorporation into Banca Mediolanum. Until last November 3, 2021, Ennio Doris held the position of Chairman of Banca Mediolanum, the day on which he was appointed Honorary Chairman following a resolution of the shareholders’ meeting. Ennio Doris also held the position of Honorary President of the Mediolanum Onlus Foundation.
When I was a child Ennio Doris he dreams of becoming a livestock broker like his father, but at the age of 10 he falls ill with nephritis and thus concentrates on his studies. After graduating in accounting from the “Jacopo Riccati” high school (Treviso), he began his career at the Banca Antoniana of Padua in the branch of San Martino di Lupari (Padua) where he worked from 1960 to 1968, to then become general manager of Talin mechanical workshops in Cittadella (Padua) together with the industrialist Dino Marchiorello, a key figure in the life of Ennio Doris.
In fact, an episode lived with Marchiorello will constitute a real turning point in the life of Ennio Doris: on board the brand new Citroen Pallace of the industrialist, Ennio Doris discovers that “… his feet sink on a very soft and enveloping carpet”. Getting into that car was an enlightenment, in a moment it was all clear to him. That man was driving the car of his dreams, he will later say: that man, he was “driving” his life.
From there Ennio Doris realizes that, to guide his life, he must choose to become an entrepreneur. He sees his friend Gianfranco Cassol as a promoter and so in 1969 he too began his activity in the field of financial consultancy at Fideuram, dealing with the management of household savings and, from 1971 to 1981, in Dival (Ras Group), where started with a small group of collaborators, in a few years he managed over 700 professionals.
During those first important years of experience there are countless meetings with customers who entrust him with their “money that comes from sweat and sacrifice”As Ennio Doris himself recalls. In particular, the meeting and the dialogue one evening with a carpenter who chooses to invest a more than considerable sum is decisive: 10 million lire about forty years ago. “Mr. Doris, do you know what I gave you?” the carpenter asks me “Yes, 10 million”, I answer. “No, you are wrong,” he tells me. He shows me the impressive calluses of his right hand and adds: “I gave her these! And remember that I can’t afford to get sick, because otherwise my family won’t go on ”. That meeting marked his professional life forever. “There I understood what I had to do: be successful not because I’m good at selling something, but because I’m useful to people. To do this, however, I must have all the necessary tools available, including banking ones “, to carry out that entrepreneurial project capable of offering customers answers to all people’s financial needs.
Thus, in February 1982, after the meeting in Portofino with Silvio Berlusconi and with the entrepreneurial and logistical support of the Fininvest Group, Ennio Doris founded Programma Italia, the first network of global consultants in the savings sector, with an idea as simple as powerful and innovative: “To become the reference point of the Italian family for savings”. In this way he invented a new way of banking, bringing finance closer to people and creating an industrial model that was a precursor of the times.
In the early 1990s, the idea of a bank without branches “imported” from the United Kingdom, when the internet began to take its first steps in Italy as well. An intuition, also this, in which he sees with foresight the transformations that still profoundly affect the banking sector today. His is a bet on the future, an invitation not to be afraid. Because intelligence and the ability to build trust between people will remain at the center of everything: “Branches will end up like telephone booths. But the human presence will not disappear ” he will have the opportunity to commentary in the following years. In fact, in his vision, this innovative bank model assigns an even more crucial role to people: “Consultants who guide the client in the fundamental choices of their life, in an increasingly complex world”.
In 1995 Mediolanum SpA was born, the holding company to which all the companies of the Group conglomerate belong, and this reorganization allows it to be listed on the Stock Exchange in 1996 and, in 1998, to enter the Mib30 list. In 1997, Programma Italia was transformed into Banca Mediolanum, the most innovative telematic bank in Italy, born without branches, the first to offer the home banking service with telephone and teletext with the home television, thus merging the potential of the approach technology with the professionalism of a financial advisor. In the same year, Mediolanum International Funds Limited, an asset management company, was born in Ireland.
In 2000, Banca Mediolanum launched the process of expansion abroad, first landing in Spain to replicate the Italian model of success through the acquisition of the Fibanc Banking Group and then continuing, the following year, with the purchase of Gamax Holding AG and Bankhaus August Lenz & Co in Germany.
Also in 2000, Ennio Doris and Enrico Cuccia signed an alliance that took the form of a joint venture and share exchange agreement up to 2% between Mediolanum and Mediobanca.
We are still in 2000 when the founder of Banca Mediolanum draws a circle on the sands of a salt lake to explain his new bank model: that “built around you”. A profound innovator, Ennio Doris also breaks the canonical schemes of communication and gets involved in the first person by becoming the testimonial of the bank’s advertising campaign so that customers know and see the face of the banker to whom they entrust their savings.
In 2008, the company baton passed to his son Massimo who has since been at the helm of Banca Mediolanum as CEO, leading the company to become an even more successful reality among the main players in the banking and asset management market in Italy and Europe.
The generational change in communication of Banca Mediolanum, on the other hand, took place in 2015 when the historical testimonial Ennio gave way to his son Massimo who in full continuity became the new face of the bank’s advertising.
In September 2008, the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy took markets around the world by surprise, triggering an unprecedented global economic crisis. By the will of Ennio Doris, Banca Mediolanum decides to act promptly to protect the 11 thousand customers who have suffered losses with index-linked policies linked to Lehman securities. The two majority shareholders, the Doris family and the Fininvest group, thus choose to intervene at their own expense by reimbursing the 11 thousand impacted customers with 120 million euros, without exposing the bank’s minority shareholders in any way.
It is a concrete sign of closeness to people. For Ennio Doris, “An opportunity to show that we are different” from others and “The best investment of my life” as he will have the opportunity to remember on several occasions. The following year, in fact, the commercial results reached 5.8 billion in net inflows, almost double that of 2007. Because trust generates trust. And as he often recalled: “The best way to be selfish is to be selfless”.
The desire to be concretely close to customers, to want to do more or give more has always belonged to the vision of Ennio Doris, which is totally permeated by the culture and corporate identity of Banca Mediolanum. This is testified by the numerous solidarity initiatives implemented on the occasion of natural disasters, financial disasters, floods, earthquakes in which the bank intervened in support of customers and collaborators through donations equal to 230 million euros in total, from the first intervention, dated 1994, onwards.
The commitment to always seek innovative solutions capable of encouraging the growth of companies and the country is a constant in Ennio Doris’ path. His idea of eradicating the bank-centric system and creating direct links between private savings and the real economy makes him identify in the Individual Savings Plans a precious tool, a revolution on which he decides to bet with decision and energy in 2017, leading the way and spokesperson for the entire Italian asset management system. From that moment on, he decided to meet hundreds of entrepreneurs throughout Italy, province by province, giving numerous interviews on the subject and inviting the entire financial industry to follow him and bet on this new revolution for the benefit of the whole country. With tenacity, he continues to defend his choice on the PIRs, asking for their restart in 2021, always with the same important goal: “To channel the enormous Italian private savings towards the real economy, because if everyone launches themselves on this new tool, the creation of a financial market in Italy will be faster, to the benefit of the country’s modernization”.
Tenacity, commitment, constant dedication are also the fundamental traits of the most “popular” sport par excellence: cycling, for which Ennio Doris nourishes, not surprisingly, a true and sincere passion, which makes him count among the main opinion leaders, commentators and authors of books who have narrated not only sport but the epic of an era. The history of that Italy that made the reconstruction after the Second World War the pride of an entire nation. “There is also tomorrow” (Sperling & Kupfer) is the title of the first book dedicated to him in which he recalls the phrase said by his father Alberto after a defeat by Fausto Coppi: to go further, always think positively about the future despite everything.
Through this passion, Banca Mediolanum has been intertwining its history for almost twenty years with that of the Giro d’Italia as sponsor of the Blue Jersey of the Mountain Grand Prix. Symbol of dedication, passion, effort and Italian spirit, because as Doris recalls, “Uphill you go slower, exactly as it happens in times of economic crisis. The pace becomes slower, but it is in the difficulties that one understands what one is worth “. On 3 July 2020, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, his family, bank, lifelong friends and loved ones dedicate the book to him “Ennio Doris, 80 years of optimism. The man who never stops dreaming ” (Mondadori).
Even in the most difficult period of Italy’s recent history, with the country struggling with the health emergency caused by Covid-19, Ennio Doris has never stopped looking to the future with his concrete and pragmatic optimism. In March 2021 it defined vaccines “Our Allied Forces, which are progressively freeing the populations from pandemic oppression” inviting everyone to look with confidence at the moment when we would finally be free from the pandemic to start again with momentum: “We have to be ready for when we are freed from the virus. Personally, I already see many favorable conditions “. Incurable optimist, enlightened banker, ready to do his part for his beloved country, a man guided by a very strong Catholic faith and moved by a sincere principle of restitution: Ennio Doris leaves a legacy of values and vision that will always be a source of inspiration for Banca Mediolanum and for those who have known and collaborated with him.