Leaders in Finance: Dario Pipitone - Chief Financial Officer of Brunello Cucinelli

MCF - Master in Corporate Finance

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On January 17th, 2024, the Master in Corporate Finance (MCF) class had the remarkable opportunity to engage with Dario Pipitone, Chief Financial Officer at Brunello Cucinelli. This meeting took place at Casa Cucinelli, in the heart of Milan’s office spaces. Mr. Pipitone shed light on the evolving CFO’s role in a luxury brand fashion company.

 

Mr. Dario Pipitone graduated with honors in Economics and Business from LUISS Guido Carlo University. Beginning his career in November 2000 as an Auditor at Ernst Young, he held this role since 2003. In January 2004, he spent 18 months at Ernst Young LLC in Los Angeles, where he specialized in Sarbanes Oxley. Returning to Italy in 2006, he joined the Transaction Support Services department of Ernst Young, Advisory Service. Here, he took part in several extraordinary operations, including the IPO of Brunello Cucinelli. In April 2011, he joined Brunello Cucinelli, where he was appointed Executive Manager for the Planning and Control department for the monobrand channel. in April 2014, he became the second-in-command to the CFO of Brunello Cucinelli group, serving on the boards of several foreign subsidiaries, such as Brunello Cucinelli USA Inc, Brunello Cucinelli Japan, Brunello Cucinelli UK, and Brunello Cucinelli (Sichuan) Fashion Co.

 

During the session, Dario Pipitone delved into the transformative journey of his role and the company's financial dynamics. He outlined the remarkable growth in sales revenue, from €252 million in 2012 to an impressive €1.1 billion in 2023, highlighting the company's resilience and adaptability in post-pandemic times, where humanistic capitalism became a core focus. He spoke about the balanced approach to wholesale and retail, stressing the importance of longstanding partnerships with wholesalers. He emphasized that despite the challenges of COVID-19, the company refrained from cutting costs, choosing instead to invest in unique customer experiences like 'Casa Cucinelli'.

 

Mr. Pipitone also addressed the climate topic by stressing out the company's commitment to sustainability, not just in environmental terms but across various dimensions including economic, technological, cultural, and moral. Initiatives like the regenerative agriculture project in the Himalayas - replacing plastic with organic compounds - and a unique approach to unsold inventory – dedicating them to the less fortunate rather than destroying them – bulletproof the brand's holistic approach to sustainability.

 

In addition, Mr. Pipitone emphasized the importance of the supply chain, praising the craftsmanship of their 7500 artisans and the strength of artisan manufacturing. He touched upon the brand's deep connection with Italian culture and how it maintains its vaunted exclusivity, and the emphasis on value and work-life balance.

 

Finally, as CFO, Mr. Pipitone described his role as dynamic and multifaceted, extending beyond traditional financial duties to encompass vision and strategic execution. He quoted the Capri store as an example of strategic thinking, serving as a window to the U.S. market. His humanistic approach, viewing himself as a guardian, resonated with the audience. Looking to the future, he discussed work disruption, the importance of recognizing one's role within the company, and the interaction with others. In facing the labor shortage, he emphasized the search for talented individuals with soft skills like creativity.

 

To sum it all up Mr. Pipitone’s interaction with the students was both an educational address and a deep focus insight into the role of a CFO who navigates through complex financial landscapes, emphasizing a humanistic approach, strategic vision, and a strong commitment to sustainability and cultural values. 

 

SDA Bocconi School of Management

 

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