An Interview with Maurizio Sella, President of the Sella Banking Group, Italy

Maurizio Sella is the President of Sella Banking Group, a family business 126 years in the making. Sella is also part of a family legacy which counts thirteen generations of entrepreneurs. The Sella family started its entrepreneurial activities in the 16th century, when the family’s ancestors distinguished themselves as entrepreneurs in the textile field. Three centuries later, Maurizio Sella’s family built further on the Sella legacy by being among the first textile manufacturers to use the world’s first mechanical machines. On the heels of Italy’s industrialisation at the beginning of the 19th century, Pietro Sella introduced Belgian textile machinery in a Northern Italian factory in 1817.

A few years later Pietro Sella’s brother, Giovanni Battista, introduced the same innovation in a separate factory. These industrial maneuvers forged the family business ahead for decades, leading to the introduction of mechanical looms in the 1870s along the river Cervo, in a Biella-based plant., known as Lanificio Maurizio Sella.
Maurizio Sella moved his business to this mill in 1835, which today serves as the Data Processing Centre of the entire Sella Group and i’is also the Sella Foundation’s headquarter.

With modernity, the Sella family contributed to the birth of the Italian company Idroelettrica Maurizio Sella and the Filatura Follegno (Lana Gatto) whilst also founding the Sella & Mosca winery in Sardinia. In 1886, Gaudenzio Sella, with the financial support of a Sella family interested in investing in new business without abandoning the textile sector, decided to found the Banca Gaudenzio Sella & C along with six brothers and cousins. The common threads of these ventures have unmistakably been the family’s passion for its work, a strong sense of responsibility to the local community and the active training of successive generations.

With Maurizio Sella at the helm as General Manager of the Sella Banking, the company has grown into 335 branches in line with its reputation as a stalwart Italian financial organisation. The banking group is comprised of 22 companies which operate internationally and offer a wide range of banking and financial services.

In 1997, Maurizio Sella was one of the founders of the Associazione Italiana delle Aziende Familiari – AidAF (Italian Association of Family Businesses). He was and remains convinced that it was necessary to emphasise and reinforce the unique role of entrepreneurial families. He has been President of the Association since 2007. In this interview with Tharwat magazine, Maurizio Sella shares his expert opinion on and passion for Italian family businesses.