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Banco Santander: Not the Italian’s Job

Banco Santander’s board has botched the appointment of the bank's next CEO in the clumsiest way possible.

It seems scarcely believable that a world-leading bank should be able to botch an appointment of such importance as its own chief executive.


Andrea Orcel

However, that is exactly what Santander has done with its announcement on Tuesday night that it had failed‎ to agree the terms on which Andrea Orcel would make that move from UBS, where he ran the investment bank.

Santander was transparent, after a fashion, on the reasons.

“This decision is due to the change … ‎of the basis upon which the board initially decided to appoint Mr Orcel and the fact that the costs of compensating him for past remuneration cannot exceed those corresponding to the original understanding,” said the bank’s statement.

Translation: UBS is clawing back more than – for whatever reason – the Santander board originally envisaged, and Orcel wants to be compensated for that.

Of the three parties involved – Santander, Orcel and UBS – it is the Spanish bank that comes out of this mess looking worst.

Not only has it failed to secure the deal it had trumpeted to the world, but the apparent failure of its board to support chairman Ana Botín in her quest to sign up the UBS rainmaker has dealt her authority a heavy blow. 

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