MILAN, May 10 (Reuters) - UniCredit has hired former Barclays investment banker Renato Di Monta to lead its advisory services for financial institutions, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Di Monta has spent nearly 14 years at Barclays, rising to lead the British bank's financial services division for Italy first and, lately, for continental Europe.

Before that, he had been at Rothschild for a decade.

His arrival at UniCredit highlights efforts to strengthen advisory services directed at financial institutions, one person said, adding further hires were planned in the area, one of a number of sectors overseen by former HSBC banker Andrea Coda.

Di Monta starts on Monday and will be based in Milan, reporting to Coda, who recently joined UniCredit as head of M&A and advisory services for sectors, including also consumer goods and retail, TMT, utilities and infrastructure, the people said.

Coda in turn reports to Samuel Kendall, UniCredit's head of advisory and financing solutions who was brought in by Chief Executive Andrea Orcel.

Under Orcel, the former investment banking chief at Swiss giant UBS, UniCredit has focused its business on capital-light activities to boost income derived from net fees and reduce reliance on the traditional lending business.

(Reporting by Valentina Za. Editing by Jane Merriman)