Emilio Botín dies, his family will prevail

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Santander shares dip as the bank gets ready to appoint Ana Patricia new chairman

 El presidente del Santander fallace a los 79 años

10 de septiembre de 2014 (12:19 CET)

Emilio Botín, the most prominent banker in the eurozone, has died aged 79. Santander informed of the death of its chairman on a formal communication this morning. Shortly after the news made the headlines, Santander shares took a 2% tumble on the Spanish stock exchange. As details of the death of the banker emerged, stocks regained vigour.

The deceased was great-grandson, grandson, son, brother and father of bankers. After his passing, the Botín family, Spain’s most powerful, will continue heading up the financial institution.

Ana Patricia Botín is tipped to be named Executive Chairman later today. The name of Francisco Javier Botín has also been peddled.

In fact, the bank’s policies provide for the passing of its top executive. A procedure to replace the Executive Chairman is outlined on Article 24. Botín himself had amended it to avoid having to retire when he was 72. That said, he left provisions in place to shield the bank from his own passing.

Not a moment of respite


Emilio Botín was born in 1934. Recruited by Santander at the age of 24, he was a relentless worker. During his long spell as top executive, he refused to address his succession. “I am feeling marvellous”, he was reported saying during his last exchange with the press.

However, security was a top priority of his and the banker was escorted round-the-clock by a first-aid team. Paradoxically, paramedics were unable to save his life last night. A sudden cardiac arrest put an end to his life and career.

Whilst a wake is held, Santander will keep operating with its profit rates back to normal. The financial titan posted proceeds totalling 4.3 billion euros for 2013. In this year’s quarter two, the bank reported earnings amounting to 1.435 billion.

The bank was able to weather a financial storm that brought Spain to its knees. The key to avoid being washed away was diversifying markets. Also, it maxed out earnings by wisely tackling risks in the domestic market.

Indeed, Santander did not make a move during a shake-up of the Spanish banking sector. None the less, the bank was forced to pay its share of a multi-million fine imposed by the Spanish government, when the preferred stocks scandal rocked the country.

Notwithstanding that, Botín was able to transform Santander into the largest financial institution in the eurozone. He did it by expanding operations. He acquired Banesto and spearheaded the buyout of Central Hispano. Regarding operations abroad, Santander bought Sovereign Bank and a number of financial institutions in South America.

Ana Patricia’s achievements

In all, Santander UK makes the largest operation abroad. The British market has become the bank’s top source of income in a successful operation headed up by Patricia Botín. The top choice for the executive chairmanship was able to overtake the Brazil operation as main source of revenues. Brazil contributed one in four euros of proceeds to Santander’s accounts in quarter two.

In contrast, Spain accounted for a mere 14% of the company’s business pie. That being said, Emilio Botín was hopeful that the country's economy was on the comeback. The Spanish government has stressed that Botín was always committed to championing the Spain Brand and the country.

The banker was married to Paloma O’Shea, bestowed the honours of marchioness by King Juan Carlos of Spain in 2008. He fathered six children: Ana Patricia, Carmen, Emilio, Carolina, Paloma and Francisco Javier.

On Wednesday he was due in Madrid’s financial district to unveil the restoration of La Educación de la Virgen (The Virgin’s Tutoring). The masterpiece was painted by the famed Spanish artist Diego Velázquez and its restoration sponsored by the bank.
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