May 13, 2021

new structure in Spain and the door slammed to sell its international business




César González-Bueno is now, officially, the new CEO of Sabadell Bank. And it has not taken a day since taking office to implement his way of working. So much so that it has come to overturn the group’s strategy, after a year full of setbacks, comings and goings and with the market distrusting.

The newly appointed CEO – who will also be the bank’s first sword, after leaving the president Josep Oliu his executive functions- has announced a new structure for Spain, putting the focus “on the customer and increased profitability.” In this sense, the business in Spain will be organized around three large units: individuals, companies and corporate. Each of them is endowed with a remarkable autonomy, to the point that each unit will be responsible for its own income statement (income, expenses …).

This with respect to our country, and the reality is that abroad the strategy has also taken a certain turn. The entity had been thinking for months of getting rid of its British subsidiary TSB -and also that of Mexico-, which had been a drag on the group due to its zero profitability. In fact, Sabadell has received multiple approaches in 2020 to take over TSB, but all were rejected when considering the bank that they did not adjust to the value that they believe that this subsidiary has, with the technological integration already ready.

Now, as the bank indicates, the objective for its two foreign subsidiaries will be to “accelerate its path of profitability and increase its contribution to the group.” A) Yes, Sabadell has indicated that it will not start any sales process “in the near future”. A tagline that slammed the door to dispose of these businesses at least in the short-medium term.

González-Bueno explained that this organization will allow them to carry out this strategy of focusing on the customer and profitability. “Each business is structured differently, because the needs and priorities of its customers are also different”, has explained the new CEO.

Name dance

The organization chart will have its own CEO like the tip of the spear. María José García Beato, general secretary, will leave this position on March 31 and will be filled by Gonzalo Barretino, until now director of legal advice. García Beato will remain on the board of directors, for his part. One of the big changes will be the arrival of Leopoldo Alvear as financial director, coming from Bankia. An appointment announced weeks ago, and that is still pending the ‘OK’ of the European Central Bank.

In the three business units created there is also a certain dance of names. The individual branch will be directed, for the time being, by the group’s CEO himself in the absence of appointing a person in charge; that of companies will be borne by Carlos Ventura, who until now was the director of Sabadell Spain, where he had responsibility for the entire business; and the corporate will be headed by José Nieto.

Miguel Montes, who comes from the Operations, Technology and Human Resources department, will be in the Organization and Resources department. And in Operations and Technology will appear Marc Armengol, who comes from the TSB subsidiary.

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