(Bloomberg) -- Mediobanca SpA’s second-biggest shareholder, Vincent Bollore, threw his support behind the Italian investment bank’s chief executive officer, who has come under pressure in recent weeks from another top shareholder, Il Sole 24 Ore reported.

“We have always been and still are very satisfied with his management," Bollore said of Mediobanca Chief Executive Officer Alberto Nagel, speaking through a spokesperson, Il Sole said. French billionaire Bollore’s company holds almost 8% of the storied Milan-based investment bank, which has long been at the center of Italian capitalism.

Mediobanca’s third-largest shareholder, billionaire EssilorLuxottica SA Chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio, has been critical of Mediobanca’s management, saying the bank is overly dependent on its holdings in Assicurazioni Generali SpA and its Compass Banca consumer-credit unit, which together accounted for about two-thirds of the bank’s first-half profit.

Bollore’s support came a day after Del Vecchio told Business Insider that Mediobanca needs to be more aggressive in growing through acquisitions, following the lead of banks like Intesa Sanpaolo SpA.

Del Vecchio, who unexpectedly announced last month that he’d amassed a stake of almost 7% in Mediobanca, is considering raising his holding to more than 10%, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported on Oct. 10.

Mediobanca’s biggest shareholder, with almost 9%, is Milan-based lender UniCredit SpA, according to Mediobanca’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vernon Silver in Rome at vtsilver@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Robert Blau at rblau1@bloomberg.net, James Amott

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