Santander has appointed UBS chief of investment banking Andrea Orcel as its new executive officer.
Before his appointment, Orcel was running UBS’ investment bank since 2012, contributing to turn around a toxic division that nearly pulled the bank under during the financial crisis.
Orcel has advised Santander as a client for more than 20 years and has a close relationship with the Botín family, who founded and continue heading up Santander Bank through its chairman Ana Botín.
Orcel will be succeeding José Antonio Álvarez as CEO, who will now become the group’s vice chairman replacing Rodrigo Echenique – who announced his decision to retire from such role in June this year.
Álvarez will become the group’s vice chair, succeeding Rodrigo Echenique, who confirmed his decision to retire from the role in June this year.
These appointments are expected to take effect in early 2019 following regulatory approvals.
Ana Botín, executive chairman of Banco Santander, said: “Rodrigo Echenique has been my most trusted advisor and played a fundamental role within the Board and as an Executive Chairman of Santander Spain. I now look forward to José Antonio Álvarez assuming these key strategic and executive responsibilities.
“Andrea Orcel’s international experience and strategic expertise further strengthen our existing team, helping ensure we continue delivering on our current strategy as we have for the past four years. He brings a deep understanding of retail and commercial banking, as well as a strong track record in managing diverse teams across Europe and the Americas in a collaborative way. This will help us achieve our ambition to build the best retail and commercial bank, as well as a global digital platform, whilst preserving our proven subsidiary model. “Andrea has worked closely with us for the past two decades, in the development and execution of our strategy, and understands and is aligned with the Santander culture.”