The board of directors of Banco Santander unanimously agreed Wednesday to appoint Ana Botín as its chair, following the sudden death of her father, Emilio Botín, who during his tenure steered the Spanish bank into one of the most relevant financial institutions in the world.
The naming came at the proposal of the appointments and remuneration committee, which held a meeting earlier in the day.
“Emilio Botín was extremely important for the bank, leading its extraordinary transformation, turning it into the leading bank in the Euro zone and one of the most relevant in the world, and for Spain,” said Fernando de Asúa, first vice chairman of Banco Santander and chairman of the appointments and remuneration committee.
The committee considered the banker’s daughter as “the most appropriate person, given her personal and professional qualities, experience, track record in the group and her unanimous recognition both in Spain and internationally.”
After the board meeting, Ana Botín said: “In these difficult times for me and my family, I appreciate the trust of the board of directors and I am fully committed to my new responsibilities.”
“I have been working at Grupo Santander in different countries and with different responsibilities for many years and I have experienced the professionalism and dedication of our teams,” she said. “We’ll continue to dedicate all our efforts with total determination to keep building a better bank for our customers, employees and shareholders.”
With the appointment, she becomes one of Europe’s most powerful women in banking. Her father died Wednesday of a heart attack, at 79.