Santander looks to network effects to answer its critics
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Santander looks to network effects to answer its critics

Illustration: Justin Metz

Santander executive chairman Ana Botín has stepped back from the M&A-based restructuring many assumed former CEO candidate Andrea Orcel would oversee. Euromoney asks Botín and her new chief executive, Héctor Grisi, how they plan to make this international retail bank succeed.

Investors are always looking for something new from banks. Santander came up with the goods during its capital markets day in late February, presenting a long-awaited new chief executive.

After the aborted hire in 2019 of Andrea Orcel, now CEO of UniCredit, José Antonio Alvarez unexpectedly stepped into the breach, continuing as chief executive while Santander dealt with the fallout. More than three years later, on January 1, former head of North America Héctor Grisi became Santander’s first CEO from Latin America – a move emphasising how much executive chairman Ana Botín realises that Santander’s banks in Europe can learn from its banks in Latin America today.

But persistent doubts about the value of Spanish group’s global structure mean that Botín and Grisi, who was previously an investment banker at Credit Suisse, still have plenty of convincing to do. They are promising a return on tangible equity of 15% for 2023, rising to as much as 17% by 2025.


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EMEA editor
Dominic O’Neill is EMEA editor. He joined Euromoney in 2007 to cover emerging markets, focusing on central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and later on Latin America. Based in London, he has covered developed market banking since 2015.
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