Lifonti began his career in 1985 at Alberto Galgano e Associati, then the leading independent consultancy group and only fully Italian enterprise operating. While at Galgano, he came to understand the operational logistics of a fast-growing grand advisory company. He then moved on to Summit/TMI, a training and education company, specialized in internal communications for change management and corporate culture growth. Lifonti was the youngest consultant and seminar leader on the Team, responsible for quality of services carried out on behalf of major clients such as Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino, Fiat Auto, and various Chambers of Commerce. He soon found himself presenting to 7000 persons from clerks to executives at a major company. He concluded his experience at Summit/TMI by authoring a book published in 1995 by Franco Angeli, on seller-customer relations in retail distribution.
Lifonti moved to the Burson-Marsteller agency in 1995, handling internal communications strategies for clients. In just over a year, he was nominated as Director for institutional communications and began pivoting the company to handle financial communications. After forming a new division, BM Financial, in just a few years it would be the main player in the field, with a track record of various operations including going public, takeovers, privatization and attracting a number of clients across the financial services realm. Between 2000-2003, he applied his specialized services model to other parts of the agency, driving the creation of a wholly new division for tech company communications, BM Tech.
Lifonti went on to relaunch marketing communications by bringing together a team of Italian clients and professionals from another Group company, WPP, and others from an institutional and financial ad agency, Marsteller Advertising. Not stopping there, he presided over a relaunching of a marketing communications group within the Company. By the time he left Burson at the end of 2003 to build a communications team for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, he was Managing Director and an Advisory Board Member in the agency.
At Monte dei Paschi Bank, Lifonti was made head of Communications, reporting directly to the President, Professor Pier Luigi Fabrizi. There, he restructured the department of 23, garnering additional responsibilities for oversight and operations of the entire communications for the bank group.
While 2004-05 was marred by the Parmalat Co. financial scandal, Lifonti was tasked with managing the media fallout from a number of disappointing financial products for Banca 121, including the “My Way” and “For You” products. He would succeed in restoring the bank’s reputation, thanks to opening communications channels with the media and through a number of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. These included the formation of the first partnership in the banking world with the main Consumer Associations, called “Consumer Lab”, still active today. Lifonti and his collaborators were also pivotal to the communications surrounding a potential BMPS and BNL merger. After Unipol expressed interest in the deal, BNL would eventually be bought out by BNP Paribas. In May, 2006, with bank president Fabrizi out, and 9 years on the Board, Lifonti passed the bar to the communications team of the incoming president.
Lifonti’s three year tenure at MPS saw him manage their scarred reputation and rebuild the brand. Not only that, MPS Bank received a number of important awards for its communications, including second place for the quality of its press office in Italy, up against other publicly traded banks (study by Makno of editors 2006). Awards were received for the ad campaign, “People count more than numbers”, produced by JWT and the prestigious San Bernardino prize for ethical campaigns.
Diego established Lifonti & Company in 2006 and presides over The Story Group – Born to tell your story; working together with Cabiria BrandUnverse and the Social Content Factory as group partners. Lifonti is also a docent for financial communications for the Master’s program in Media Relations for ALMED, a school specialized in Media and Entertainment run by the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano.
Lifonti & Company works together with major companies and their top executives to produce engaging, exciting, and most importantly, customer-friendly communications, including today: Unicredit, Deutsche Bank, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Amazon, BTicino, E.ON, Prysmian Group, and Generali Assicurazioni.