Marco Durante (born in Turin on March 24th 1962) is an Italian entrepreneur, founder and president of multimedia press agency LaPresse, a joint-stock company of which he holds all shares.
He lives between Milan and London, he is married to Thea and has three children: Vittoria, Edoardo and Ginevra.
His father Silvio Durante was one of the founders of Publifoto Torino, the agency that brought photojournalism to Italy, thanks to the initiative and talent of the great early Italian photojournalists: apart from Silvio Durante, they were Vincenzo Carrese, Silvio Maresca and Fedele Toscani, father of Oliviero.
After attending high school (“Liceo Scientifico” at the Sacra Famiglia), he graduated at ISEF and became a professor, at the swimming chair of Turin. His passion for sports accomplished him a spot in Torino FC’s midfield, and later along with Corrado Rosso, he coached Libertas SAFA, leading the Turin water-polo team from the Italian Serie C to winning 4 consecutive league titles. This team, as Champions of Italy, earned the honor of going to several major international sporting events: European and World Championships, and three editions of the Olympic Games.
Durante’s desire to know and improve pushed him abroad. Initially he relocated to New York in order to further improve his studies in economy; then he moved to Lyon, where as an ISEF teacher, he obtained a Matriese in sports disciplines from the Unité de Formation et de Recherche en Sciences et Techniques des Acitivités Physiques et Sportives, of Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1.
In 1992 he began his collaboration with Publifoto, acquiring its historical archives from his father, and together with his brother Massimo, he founded LaPresse in 1994. This event paved the way for an important acceleration in the development and diversification of activities, and eventually transformed the photographic agency into one of the most dynamic and innovative media companies in the Italian landscape of information and media.
On August 31st, 1996 he lost his brother Massimo in a tragic traffic accident, while he was working as a photographer at the Venice International Film Festival. This event would personally mark Durante’s life.
In 2005, thanks to his experience and to the agency’s growing success, he founded LaPresse Nuoto Torino and became its President, appointing Lapo Elkann and Cristiano Fiorio as Vice Presidents, fully funding the team and bringing it to the top of tables in competition, and getting the attention of women’s champion French Laure Manadou, who ended up joining the team in 2007. Despite its excellent competitive results, the club was unable to find support within local institutions, and after a dispute with the French swimmer’s entourage which exposed him to media controversy, Durante dismantled the team as soon as the Manadou case was resolved, freeing up both athletes and contracts.
In the meantime, LaPresse grew and became an established reality. Apart from its photo reporting activity, video news was introduced (the first agency in Italy to do so), for documenting events in an increasingly popular media of communication. Progressively an integrated system of professionalism and skills was created, in order to serve industrial photography, historical archives, image coordination, brands visual enhancement on both photo and video levels. Thus a service platform was developed shaped by the needs of a constantly changing market.
The next step was internationalization. For this reason, in 2008 Durante acquired distribution rights for Italy over all Associated Press productions, and in 2010, by virtue of further agreement with the American agency and acting on its specific invitation, LaPresse became a Press Agency, completing its bouquet of information services with news and textual contributions from Italy and abroad.
Unfatigued, in 2015 Durante graduated in Law with honors at the University of Naples/Pegaso, with a thesis in Tax Law. During that same year, the University of Naples assigned him the chair of lecturer in Corporate Communication Strategies at the Faculty of Business Economics, of which he is the titular.
Over the course of a 25-year entrepreneurial career of note, Durante has established himself as one of the undisputed leaders within the Italian publishing scene.
Known for his loyalty and confidentiality, so much so that he has long been the Agnelli family’s most trusted man for managing the most delicate relationships with the media, such as those on behalf of the Lingotto factory and Gianni Agnelli’s entourage (including figures such as Henry Kissinger and Prince Rainier of Monaco). He also was trusted to cover the Lapo Elkann and Fabrizio Corona cases. Durante himself doesn’t particularly like being in the spotlight and prefers to maintain an understated approach.
LaPresse is the first entrepreneurial Italian multimedia news agency. It became a joint stock company in 2006, with seven offices in Italy today in Milan, Rome, Turin, Naples, Verona, Florence e Trieste and the recent opening of Brussels andover 150 employees. It also now comprises 6 units abroad in France, UK, Germany, Spain, Russia and Poland, as well as acquiring over time several companies as follows: AGR, Agenzia Giornalistica Radiotelevisiva; A.G.A., Agenzia Giornali Associati; Olycom, with Olympia Fotocronache, Franca Speranza and the Publifoto brand. In 2018 it further broadened its activity spectrum, with a division dedicated to television productions led by Elisa Ambanelli, and a celebrity management area, featuring high-profile personalities such as Barbara d’Urso and Elisabetta Gregoraci among its artists.
LaPresse is the most international of all Italian multimedia content providers, thanks to the network of agencies with which it collaborated, and to the exclusive partnership with Associated Press, which besides guaranteeing textual, photographic and video content from abroad, can give Italian news the maximum possible level of international coverage, and the best opportunity for visibility in the world.