MILAN (Reuters) - BPER Banca said its newly elected board would meet later on Friday to appoint a new chief executive, as former UniCredit manager Gianni Franco Papa prepares to take the reins at Italy's fourth-largest bank.

Papa, 68, was a former general manager at UniCredit and had already been sitting on BPER's outgoing board.

Papa has been selected by BPER's top investor Unipol, an insurance group which owns a stake of nearly 20% in the bank, to replace Piero Montani.

Montani is a restructuring expert who arrived at BPER in 2021, brought in by Unipol to oversee the integration of businesses the group had bought in recent years.

(Reporting by Andrea Mandalà, editing by Valentina Za)