Andrea Cattaneo is a proud Genoese, inspired by those energetic Renaissance explorers and navigators who once traversed the world in pursuit of commerce and adventure, and now heads up the oil company he founded 13 years ago after cutting his teeth as a trader and financier.

Born in the 1960s, Cattaneo stayed in his hometown to study economics, moving to Bologna for his master's before landing a job in London with ITAB, the Italian merchant bank specialised in lending to socialist regimes across the Eastern Bloc, imposed by the Soviet Union after World War 2.