Delfin, the holding company of Leonardo Del Vecchio's family, has acquired a 6.94 percent stake in a big Italian investment bank, Mediobanca. Created in 1946, Mediobanca was for many years, under the guidance of its co-founder Enrico Cuccia, the linchpin of private domestic capitalism. Its shareholders included some of Italy's leading families, who formed the “Salotto Buono,” a sort of elitist club that influenced the country's industry. Since the death of Cuccia in 2000, the bank has lost some of its clout but remains one of the best-run financial institutions in the country. Delfin said that it plans to be a long-term investor in Mediobanca, of which it is now the third-largest shareholder. There is speculation that Delfin could increase its stake up to 10 percent, a threshold that an investor can reach without needing regulatory clearance. Del Vecchio, who founded Luxottica and remains the main shareholder in EssilorLuxottica, also owns a 4.86 percent stake in Generali, a big Italian insurance company that is also a powerhouse of the Italian financial system. Mediobanca is Generali's main shareholder, with a stake of about 13 percent.

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