Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 18th 2014 Contents SEPTEMBER 2014 • WEEK THREE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
INTERNATIONAL | BG27
Ana Botin now top female banker in Europe
Ana Patricia Botin, named chair-
man of Banco Santander SA,
becomes the most powerful
woman in European banking,
succeeding her father a day after
his death. Santander s board today named Botin,
53, to the top executive post at Europe s sec-
ond-biggest bank by market value in a unan-
imous vote. Botin, who is giving up her post
as chief executive officer of Santander s UK
business, replaces her father Emilio who died
of a heart attack at the age of 79.
Ana Botin, the eldest of Botin s six children
with 26 years of service at Santander, takes over
at the bank with 1.2 trillion euros (US$1.6 trillion)
of assets that administers lenders in markets
from the UK to Brazil, the US and Poland as
well as Spain.
The mother of three joins the highest echelons
of global finance and extends the dynasty of
the Botin family, which owns two per cent of
the bank and has helped run the lender since
at least 1895.
"Family ownership has been a blessing," said
Peter Braendle, who manages 500 million euros
in European equities, including Santander, at
Swisscanto Asset Management AG in Zurich.
"Ana has had a preparation that didn t start
five years ago. It began a long time ago and it
was clearly very carefully planned."
After joining Santander in 1988, Ana Botin
led acquisitions in Latin America in the 1990s
and ran the Banesto Spanish retail unit before
becoming CEO of Santander s U.K. unit in 2010.
The British business has been driving the bank s
return to earnings growth as Santander s home
market emerges from an economic slump.
"She s done very well," Sanford "Sandy" Weill,
the former head of Citigroup Inc, said by phone.
"She went to a place where they didn t have
any past background in and she s built a very,
very good presence where it represents a decent
part of the company s earnings."
The leadership change comes less than 18
months after Javier Marin, 48, took over as chief
executive officer. The appointment was a surprise
at the time because he hadn t led any of the
lender s core retail banking activities.
By her own account, Ana Botin has given
little thought to her lineage since joining the
bank s board 26 years ago.
She grew up in a "normal" household in the
Spanish port city of Santander where she made
her own bed and her father would sometimes
eat sardines from a can for his breakfast, San-
tander s in-house magazine reported in 2005.
She never considered "whether I m a Botin or
not" while working at the bank, the magazine
quoted her as saying.
She also said she wanted women to have the
same opportunities as men. At Banesto, which
she was running at the time, she tried to avoid
having the bank hold meetings after 7 pm to
prevent disruption to families.
She was educated at Santander s Slaves of
the Sacred Heart school and also in Switzerland
and the UK and excelled at golf, becoming
Spain s junior champion in 1973 and 1974. She
speaks five languages and graduated in eco-
nomics from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsyl-
Her banking career began immediately after
college. She worked at JP Morgan, now part of
JPMorgan Chase & Company, first in Madrid
and then in New York, becoming a vice president
In her new post, she s assuming the most
senior executive role by a woman at a large
European bank. Lenders in Europe had almost
no women in their top management teams at
the onset of the financial crisis and while that
is changing, although their corporate-suite rise
has been slower than in industries such as con-
sumer goods and energy, McKinsey and Com-
pany data show.
At the euro-area s ten largest banks by market
value, women held about five per cent of key
executive jobs as of February, according to their
filings. That was a third of the proportion at
their ten largest US counterparts, which had 16
per cent. Still, no woman has landed a chief
executive job at any of the US ten largest banks.
"She is very focused and will be a good suc-
cessor," said former Deutsche Bank AG CEO
Josef Ackermann in telephone conversation.
"She went through ups and downs in her career,
which made her more resilient and better pre-
pared for this role." (Bloomberg)
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