Italian publishers' trade body FEM has appointed former Edel Music Italy president Paolo Franchini as secretary-general.

The appointment comes shortly after Franchini abruptly exited the indie, taking with him Edel Music Italy's small (200-title) publishing catalog, which contains compositions by Italian songwriters Fabrizio Baldoni, Paolo Re and Gino De Stefani.

Franchini did not disclose the amount he paid for the rights to the catalog under his exit agreement. The company confirms that his duties at Edel Music Italy's record division are now shared by sales director Maurizio Gorgone and financial director Marco Occella.

The exec's arrival at FEM marks the first time that the body, which was formed in 2001 and represents 60 of Italy's leading music publishers, has had a full-time secretary-general. Previously its affairs were run on a voluntary basis by its president -- the current one being Filippo Sugar, managing director of leading indie music group Sugar -- and other officials.

According to Franchini: "I see my main mission at FEM as trying to stimulate [Italian collecting society] SAIE to improve its performance. My other mission is to work towards improving relations between publishers and composers."