Maria Pierdicchi is Managing Director and CEO of Standard & Poor’s CMSI Italy and Head of Southern Europe. She is responsible for managing and developing S&P activities and franchise in Italy and Iberia and is Member of the European Executive Committee. Previously she was Director of the Italian Stock Exchange where she designed, launched and developed the high growth equity market ‘Nuovo Mercato’, Director of Strategic Planning at Premafin SpA and Resident Vice President of the Corporate Finance Group at Citibank. Maria Pierdicchi holds an MBA with Honours from New York University, Stern Graduate School of Business Administration and an honours degree in Economics from Bocconi University. In 2001 she obtained the Bellisario Award for her professional achievements. She is Vice President and Member of the Board of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce and she serves on the Advisory Board of Accenture Foundation. She has written several articles and essays on financial topics for Italian and international publications.