Santander appoints Ana Botin as chairwoman

Ana Botin Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ana Botin has been appointed chairwoman of Santander

Ana Botin has been appointed the new chairwoman of the Spanish banking giant Santander, following the death of her father, Emilio Botin.

Mr Botin died of a heart attack on Tuesday night.

The appointments and remuneration committee and the board of directors met on Wednesday to appoint a successor.

Ms Botin, a scion of a banking dynasty, was previously the chief executive of Santander UK.

"The appointments and remuneration committee considered Ana Botin is 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," Santander said.

Ms Botin is the fourth generation of the family to take charge of the bank. Her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, who were all named Emilio, also served as chairmen of Santander.

She has been on the board of Santander since 1989.

Ms Botin was appointed to lead the UK arm of Santander in 2010, and was chairwoman of Santander's Spanish-based subsidiary Banesto from 2002 to 2010. She began her banking career at JPMorgan.

BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed said it would "not be too much of an exaggeration to put her in the top three" women in the world with significant financial power, along with Christine Lagarde at the IMF and Janet Yellen at the Federal Reserve.

Santander, in the top 20 global banks by size, is a hugely influential operation across Europe and Latin America.

Santander UK said that its board would meet next week to choose a new chief executive.

Nathan Bostock, the bank's recently-installed UK deputy chief executive, will be responsible for overseeing operations and strategy in the transition phase.

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