Banco Santander’s Board today approved a series of management and organisational changes which further simplify the Group’s corporate structure and enhance its internal governance: in the Board of Directors, Ignacio Benjumea, General Secretary and Secretary of the Board, will leave his executive role and will become an external Board Director. Juan Rodriguez Inciarte, has resigned from the Board for personal reasons and will leave his role as Senior Executive Vice-President in December this year.
In the Senior Management space, Jaime Pérez Renovales, Senior Executive Vice-President, has been appointed General Secretary and Secretary of the Board effective September 1st. He will lead the newly-created Division of General Secretariat and Human Resources, which will integrate the areas of Legal and Tax and all the areas which were under the former division of Human Resources, Organisation and Costs. Pérez Renovales is a highly accomplished professional who is returning to the Group following a period of 3.5 years in the public sector. Jesús Cepeda, Senior Executive Vice-President and until now Head of Human Resources, Organisation and Costs, will leave his role on September 1st.
Rami Aboukhair, Senior Executive Vice-President of the bank with extensive expertise in retail banking in Spain and the UK, has been appointed country head for Santander Spain, replacing Enrique García Candelas, who will become Vice Chairman of Santander Totta (Portugal) following his great work in Spain.
Javier San Félix has been appointed Head of the Retail Bank in Santander UK, reporting to Nathan Bostock, CEO of Santander UK. Ángel Rivera, Senior Executive Vice-President, has been appointed Head of the Retail and Commercial Banking Division.
In the last few weeks, the following Senior Executive Vice Presidents have also resigned from their roles: Remigio Iglesias (Head of Recoveries); Juan Andrés Yanes who will be replaced as Head of Strategic Alliances by Juan Manuel San Román; Luis Moreno (Head of Private Banking); and José María Espí (Director of Internal Control and Risk Assessment).
The Board of Directors, Santander Spain
Two years ago all the Group's businesses serving customers in Spain were consolidated under Santander Spain to establish a clear separation between the functions of this unit and the corporate center. Today they are announcing a further step in the process of strengthening Santander Spain by creating a Board to oversee it. This will bring its governance structure in line with the Group model which exists in other country subsidiaries. This Board will monitor and supervise the activities of Santander Spain, including its policies and strategies, risk, human resources and senior management appointments as well as a number of control and monitoring tasks.
The Board of Directors of Banco Santander has appointed Rodrigo Echenique, Vice Chairman of the bank, in the additional role as Chairman of the Board of Santander Spain. The Board of Santander Spain will have at least one third independent directors with the Country Head of Spain (Rami Aboukhair) as a permanent member. The Group has also appointed to the Board of Santander Spain, Ignacio Benjumea, Angel Rivera (Head of the Retail and Commercial Bank Division), José María Nus (Chief Risk Officer), José García Cantera (CFO), Carlos Barrabés, Javier Monzón and Gonzalo Alonso-Tejuca, the last three of whom are independent directors.
According to the bank, the new corporate structure will facilitate work and increase both competitiveness and focus on adding value to the Group’s core local country businesses; and the number of divisions has been reduced from 15 to 10 in the last six months and with today’s changes the number of senior executive vice-presidents is reduced by 7 (or 23%). “We are enhancing the Group’s internal governance with the creation of a board for Santander Spain”. Ana Botín, Santander’s Group Executive Chairman, said: “These changes complete the management team which José Antonio Álvarez and I began restructuring in 2014. To achieve our vision to be the best retail and commercial bank for our people and customers, and to continue to generate sustainable growth we must simplify and make our organisation more competitive”.
“Our goal in making these changes is to have the best qualified professionals in the right roles and progress towards becoming a bank that is Simple Personal and Fair for our people, customers, shareholders and communities”, Ana Botín said.