Last updated: 08:20 / Friday, 17 June 2022
From January 1, 2023

Héctor Grisi nominated to succeed José Antonio Álvarez as CEO of Banco Santander

  • Héctor Blas Grisi Checa is currently CEO of Santander Mexico and responsible for North America
  • Following the transition, Mr Álvarez will remain on the Board as non executive vice chair.  
  • Grisi joined Santander in 2015 as CEO of Santander Mexico

The board of Banco Santander has announced this friday that Héctor Blas Grisi Checa, currently CEO of Santander Mexico  and head of North America, has been nominated to become Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a group director,  effective 1 January 2023, subject to customary approvals.

Mr Grisi will report directly to the Board, in line with  changes to the group’s management structure announced on 24 February 2022, with responsibility for managing  all the group’s regions, countries and global businesses. The nomination has been made following a rigorous  assessment process led by the Board Nominations Committee.  

Mr Grisi will succeed José Antonio Álvarez who has been with the bank since 2002 and was appointed Chief Financial  Officer in 2004 then CEO in January 2015. Following the transition, Mr Álvarez will remain on the Board as non executive vice chair.  

Lead Independent Director and chair of the Board Nomination Committee, Bruce Carnegie Brown, said, “The  Nominations Committee has worked intensively to identify and assess a broad range of internal and external  candidates for the CEO role, with the support of external advisors. Héctor Grisi is a seasoned expert who knows our  business and is the right person to lead the bank with Ana. He brings a relentless focus on the customer, proven  leadership in driving transformation and greater connectivity across the group, and a strong track record of delivering  growth and profitability."  

Banco Santander executive chair, Ana Botín, said, “I am extremely grateful to José Antonio for the exceptional  contribution he has made to the bank over the past 20 years. His leadership and dedication have been central to  Santander’s growth and success. I value his insight and support hugely and am delighted that he will remain on the  Board as non-executive vice-chair and will continue to support the bank as we build on the progress of recent years." 

She adds that "Héctor will be an outstanding successor to José Antonio. He brings decades of experience and a deep understanding  of our markets and business, and a proven ability to lead in a collaborative way and create value for both customers  and shareholders. His track record as CEO of Santander Mexico and head of North America speaks for itself and  illustrates why we believe he is the right person to lead the bank in the next phase of our transformation and growth.”

Since Mr Álvarez was appointed CEO, the bank has increased its Return on Tangible Equity (RoTE) from 11% in 2014  to over 14% in the first quarter of 2022, while growing its CET1 FL capital from 8% to over 12%. Revenues increased  by over 35% in constant euros over the same period, as the bank added nearly 40 million customers, taking the total  number of people and businesses it serves to 155 million on 31 March 2022, according the firm.  

Mr Grisi joined Santander in 2015 as CEO of Santander Mexico. Since then, he has completed a transformation of the  bank’s business in the country, achieving an adjusted return on tangible equity of 31% as at 31 March 2022, growing  the number of active customers by nearly 50% to close to 10 million and doubling the number of loyal customers, while establishing leading market position in SMEs, Mid-Market Corps, Mortgages and Project Finance.  

In 2019, he was appointed head of the Santander group’s North America region, covering both Mexico and the US. In  2021, the US achieved a record year for profitability, generating $2.7 billion compared to $648 million in 2018,  making the largest contribution to profit of any market in the group. 

Mr Grisi’s professional career spans over 35 years. Before joining Santander, he spent 18 years at Credit Suisse,  where he held a range of senior positions, including head of Investment Banking for Mexico, Central America, and  the Caribbean, then President & CEO of Credit Suisse Mexico. He was educated in Mexico and Canada and has a BA in Finance of Iberoamericana University.