relay on Santander Bank. The entity’s board of directors has elected Hector Blas Grisi Czechcurrent CEO of the subsidiary in Mexico and responsible for the North American region, as number two in the group and member of the management body with effect from January 1, 2023. His appointment is still subject to the corresponding approvals. Gray will thus replace José Antonio Álvarezwho prolonged his position as CEO of the bank since the failed signing of Andrea Orcell in 2019 and that has cost a millionaire lawsuit.
Grisi’s arrival will mark a new era at Banco Santander, as he will succeed Álvarez, who in recent years has been the right hand of the president, Ana Botín. The outgoing CEO joined the group just two decades ago, in 2002. Two years later he was appointed CFO and, in 2015, CEO. After the transition period, Álvarez will continue on the board of directors as non-executive vice president.
Grisi will report directly to the board of directors, in line with the new management structure that Banco Santander announced on February 24, and will be responsible for all regions, countries and global businesses. The group then decided to align as much as possible to the supervisory expectation of the European Central Bank (ECB). With this twist he wanted to make a clear distinction in the functions of the president and the CEOin line with the best governance practices.
With the aim of avoid at all costs the problems that occurred with the Italian banker Orcel, the entity has ensured that its proposal comes after a rigorous succession process carried out by the board’s appointments committee. As reported by La Información, Banco has been thinking about Álvarez’s succession plan for months, a process that has been carried out by the international consulting firm Egon Zehnder. Grisi joined the Santander group in 2015 as CEO of Santander Mexico. In these years, it has promoted the transformation of the business, which has placed the return on adjusted ordinary tangible capital at 31% at the end of March 2022, increasing the number of active clients by almost 50%, to close to 10 million , and doubling that of linked customers.
Shortly after, in 2019, he was appointed regional manager for North America, whose main markets are Mexico and the United States. In 2021, the United States achieved the best results in its history, with a profit of 2,750 million dollars, compared to 648 million in 2018, and became the country that contributed the most to the Group’s profit. The bank has assured that under Grisi’s leadership, connectivity between the region’s markets has increased, which has allowed take advantage of cross-border business opportunities, improve efficiency, and advance the bank’s goal of building a common operating model (“One Santander”). As a result, the region has almost doubled its profit since 2019.
Search for CEO for Mexico and departure of Martín Chávez
With Grisi’s departure from the Mexican subsidiary, Banco Santander must now look for his replacement. The entity has indicated that the Grisi’s succession process as CEO of Santander Mexico It is already underway and will be communicated once it is finished. Parallel to these changes, Martin Chavez, who is currently an external director of the bank, will leave the board on July 1, 2022. Chavez swill continue to attend Advisory Council meetings Santander International and will continue as director of PaymentNxtthe bank’s payment business.