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Francesco Sassetti

Francesco Sassetti
General Description
Birthplace: Italy
Birthdate: 9 March 1421
Species: Human
Gender: Male
Occupation: General Manager of the Medici Bank
Show Information
Portrayed by: John Hollingworth
First Appearance: The Blood of Brothers
Latest Appearance: The Vault of Heaven

Francesco Sassetti was one of the members of the Governing Board of the Medici Bank, in the capacity of General Manager of the bank.

During the uprising of the Pazzi Conspiracy, on Easter Monday, 1478, Sassetti and Tommaso Portinari, branch manager in London, come to the Palazzo Medici to warn Clarice Orsini that, in the event of Lorenzo de' Medici's death, the bank would lose the investors' confidence, leading to a multinational bank collapse. In Lorenzo's absence, they suggest one of them being named Interim Head of the bank to stabilize its reputation, but Clarice refuses it.

Shortly afterwards, when Lorenzo de' Medici heads to Naples to talk Ferrante of Naples out of an alliance with Pope Sixtus IV against Florence, he withdrawals a vast sum from the bank's coffers. When Clarice wishes to withdraw funds to increase the palace's security staff, Sassetti refuses, citing worries about the bank's solvency, and suspends their account until debts are reasonably repaid. When she threatens to fire him for his insolence, Portinari reminds her that a majority of the bank's board must approve executive hiring and firing.

Out of Clarice's favour, and considering an embarrasment having a woman heading the bank, Portinari and Sassetti formulate a plan to remove Clarice from the board and replace her with Carlo de' Medici. Portinari draws up a plan, but he is exposed by Carlo, who had ostensibly sided with them. Clarice has Portinari charged with treason and malfeasance.

In a sensible position, even though not directly implicated in Portinari's plan, Sassetti sends hired assassins through the clerestory windows in the Palazzo's bedrooms. Even though they kill a guard, and they get to Clarice and Vanessa's (who was pregnant with Giuliano de' Medici's posthumous child) bedrooms, they are subdued by Carlo.

Even though the blame is put on the Duke of Urbino, who was, at the time, stationed with his military forces just outside of Florence, Carlo surmises that the ninjas were out to end the Medici line — something that would greatly benefit Sassetti, who would, had they succeeded, become the unquestioned head of the bank. Carlo confronts Sassetti, and kills him, after he admits his envolvement in the plot.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Even though Francesco Sassetti and Tommaso Portinari are historically often figured in the ultimate decline of the Medici bank, their back-room deals and plans to take over the bank are fictionalised. Sassetti was not killed by Carlo de' Medici, and continued to work for the Medici bank until his death in 1490, when he was 69. Sassetti's ill-management of the bank was in part responsible for the failure of the Lyon and the Bruges branches, damaging the long-term viability of the bank.