August 13, 2020

New heads for new times in banking | Economy


“the model of an employee who enters the level lower than a Bank and comes to the dome is finished. Not only in banking, also in large companies. Business is changing at high speed and the markets and investors are demanding managers transformers and capable of adapting companies to the digital revolution,”said Miguel Angel Zuil, partner of the international firm of headhunter Boyden.

in its opinion and that of other colleagues, these terms explain banking appointments this week: the arrival of Andrea Orcel (Rome, 1963), as CEO of Santander from January, instead of José Antonio Alvarez (Quintana de Fusero, Leon, 1960, which happens to be number three of the Group), and the future appointment of -Carlos Torres (Salamanca, 1966), as President of BBVA on the same date, relieving Francisco González (Chantada, Lugo, 1944). In Europe six months ago also they give to Christian Sewing the cupola of the Deutsche Bank, although in a hurry crisis situation.

changes in Spain are well received by professionals consulted and agree that big banks are prepared for modern times, although nobody knows for sure how it will be. These two profiles of executives like to large investors, who are moving quotes, although they are on the lookout for its lace.

Andrea Orcel, CEO of Banco Santander
Andrea Orcel, CEO of Banco Santander EFE

of Orcel consulted professionals stand out its great history of international banker (proceeds of the) UBS Swiss entity) and his knowledge of investors, a useful weapon to sell the shares of the Bank well in day to day, by an extension or a merger. However, do not see the Italian with great knowledge of commercial and digital banking, (has own Linkedin profile), land this in which consider that you Torres brings the front, says Carlos Alemany, of the firm of headhunters Alemany & Partners. Other professionals point out that Torres will be a renewal of digital speech of the President, which are weakened after two decades of exposure.

stock market decline

the two banks have made these changes when living a stock market decline: in the past 12 months the organization headed by Ana Botín has left a 26.6% of the value compared with 27% in fall of BBVA. Going further back, the situation is similar; Since that the President of the Cantabrian Bank took the reins – in September of 2014 – your quote has dropped by 43%. Since Torres’s CEO in may 2015, the titles have lost 39%. However, they are not the only banks with falls, since the Spanish and international sector is suffering a hard punishment.

perhaps these parallel lives have led them the big two to announce the appointments with 24 hours of difference, a fact that don’t believe casual consulted experts who requested anonymity. “After the coup of Santander on Tuesday, BBVA is could not stay behind because it was which had clearer renewal in the dome. The image also imports”, indicates an Executive of a company that advises on the financial sector.

the case of Torres, the arrival not been as surprising as the Italian Orcel, although it has attracted attention the terrible stock market timing for Gonzalez. However, the sources consulted believe that the name of Advisor Jaime Caruana was much as a possibility of being non-Executive Chairman. This model of counterbalance of power at the top is preferred by the European Central Bank, as pointed out in last April. “The supervisor has allowed them to keep the Executive Presidency, as they have many competitors: Santander, Bankia, Sabadell…” In the Anglo-Saxon world it is not easy to explain it, but Spain is different”, says an expert.

Carlos Alemany says that the release of Gonzalez for Torres “has become late, but by the transparency of the process, something that investors value”. Now a three-month process opens to elect the Chief Executive that, according to sources of the BBVA, will be an Executive of the House.

the dilemma of Torres

this process, which is no doubt that Gonzalez, will be involved is key for investors. “Torres must choose an Executive with the different profile than their own, i.e. with more control of the business purely banking and expert in risk to complement its great strategic vision”, says Alemany. “Everyone will be pending how it delegates the power,” he adds. Others believe that now you will have a double agenda, future President and CEO, complicated to manage.

Orcel landing is more enigmatic. They believe that their strategic vision will be complemented with the loot, and apply more tension and demands in the processes of transformation, according to Zuil. Others suggest that it will increase the weight of investment banking.

Preguntados for the reason of the substitution of Alvarez, there is agreement that the current CEO is an “excellent connoisseur of the detail of business and has made bridging the time of Emilio Botín and the current”, points Zuil, although it has a lower profile of international banker and transformer to Orcel. Now the challenge in Santander is the cohabitation of loot, Orcel and Alvarez. “I don’t know how it will be, but know Orcel and don’t think that he supports more shadow of power that the President makes him”, says the head of a financial firm. Certainly the expectation is maximum and everybody expects results.

“only 30% of the big changes are successful”

Margarita Mayo, an expert at IE Business School in talent management and new models of leadership, considered positive the changes announced in the Santander and BBVA “because the profile of the” new leaders is changing at high speed”.

however, does not hide the difficulty of the task ahead. “The new management model is very complex because it involves a high-speed and profound transformation.” May it points “already is not style the head egocentric and narcissistic, but which is humble and capable of learning and adapting to new developments, even with a culture positive failure, something rare in Spain”.

this expert, author of the book published in English Yours Truly: Staying Authentic Leadership and Life in (carefully, stay authentic leadership and life), believes that “only 30% of the initiatives of change succeed, in my experience”. “The problems of lack of confidence of the leaders or their little long-term vision makes that projects will not reach fruition,” indicates the professor at IE Business School.

may remember the deep culture of Santander, “as a family business, with roots in the own capital of Santander and very clear principles imposed by Ana Botín”. All this is what is going to find a new CEO, Andrea Orcel, coming with another different training, recalls. Carlos Torres, future President of BBVA, and Orcel know that investors want results “because investment possibilities are very broad”, says an expert.

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