Paolo Clerici, born in Genoa in 1945, married with two children. After studying in Italy and Switzerland he joined the Coeclerici Group - at that time called Coe & Clerici - in 1967, starting with oil products trading and working up to an executive position in 1972 with his appointment as CEO and Managing Director of some minor Group companies. He left Coeclerici in 1976 and set up his own companies first SAIF, acting inter alia as agent of Thyssen Carbometal Inc. and Koch Carbon. He sold his shares in SAIF to his business partner Franco Zucchi and in 1980 started a new company Compagnia Mercantile Internazionale active in importing coal, scrap metal, chemical and food products. He went back to the Group in 1983 as CEO of SIRCO Trading S.p.A. (joint venture between Sears World Trade Inc., IRI and Coe & Clerici). He was also appointed member of the Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee of Coe & Clerici SpA. In 1986 he was appointed Managing Director and one year later Deputy Chairman of the holding company, Coeclerici SpA. Paolo Clerici is the prime mover behind the international expansion of the Group, of which he has become Chairman in 1992. Since 2001, after the conclusion of his second mandate as President of the Italian Ship-owners Association (Confitarma) 1997-2001, Paolo Clerici has decided to concentrate full time on the Coeclerici Group. In June 2003 he was conferred the insignia of Cavaliere del Lavoro (Knight of Labor) by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic.
He is a member of the Board of the Council for relations between Italy & USA, of which he is also a member of the Executive Committee.
In October 2017 he founded the Paolo e Giuliana Clerici Foundation, that aims to carry out philanthropic activities for civic and social purposes, in order to contribute, also through art initiatives, to the enhancement of the territories and local communities. He is Chair of Paolo e Giuliana Clerici Foundation.
On 29 November 2019, the University of Genoa awarded him an Honorary Degree in Administration, Finance and Control, as an “…academic acknowledgement of Cavaliere Paolo Clerici’s efforts in the field of entrepreneurship at both local and national level, which have given an international dimension to the group’s activities and bear witness to the synergy established between the University and the economy” (Paolo Comanducci, Rector of the University of Genoa).