Born in Pavullo nel Frignano (Modena) on 6 March 1961, he graduated with honours in Economics and Business from the University of Modena in 1985. He continued his postgraduate studies at Oxford University (Corpus Christi College, 1987), obtaining an M. Phil in Economics in 1989.

In 1990 he joined the Bank of Italy and was assigned to the monetary and financial sector of the Economic Research Department until 2007, carrying out analysis and research on the banking industry. From 1998 to 2004 he headed the department's Financial Intermediaries Office. He represented the Bank on missions and in working groups at the International Monetary Fund, the Bank of International Settlements and the European Central Bank.

From 2007 to mid-2013 he headed the Financial Structure and Intermediaries Division within the Structural Economic Analysis Department. In July 2013 he was appointed Deputy Head of the Financial Stability Unit.

Since 27 January 2014 he is Head of the Financial Stability Directorate.

He is the author of numerous articles on banking and finance published both in Italy and abroad (including The Journal of Finance, The Review of Finance and The Journal of Banking and Finance). He has co-authored two books on the Italian financial system. He has also taught short courses and delivered lectures on financial intermediation at several Italian universities.