Santander and La Caixa have no problems of succession

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Interview by Jose Maria Lanseros

Spanish economist Jorge Díaz- Cardiel in his new book pinpoints keys several Spanish companies that are successful in times of plenty and lean .

What has led Luis Abril choose to do the prologue?

When he was still signed General Technical Secretary of the Presidency of Telefónica , which is the most successful company in Spain in both good times and bad . It is the company that has best adapted to the times given its size and market.

You speak of 25 factors for success . What summarizes key ideas ?

The grouped into four. The first is the focus of business, strong and clear corporate strategy, ie that companies focus on their business , which explains part of the success . Companies that in the context of the crisis have done this , have done well, and in the financial sphere , I think of La Caixa and Santander.
Second, the diversification of income sources in their own field of activities, which are also making financial institutions. Third, I will speak of internationalization, since for example the Santander operates in ten international markets and all is number one or number two , but La Caixa , which is number one in Spain , and is expanding to Latin America , and is opening offices in the area. Fourth, it is key to have a great business leader . The fact that there is a first sword that contributes to the business is critical and I have measured to make a contribution of up to 64 % to the business. In banking is vital that there is a leader. Banks that have a separate chapter in the book, Santander and CaixaBank , not be understood without Emilio Botin and Isidre Faine , each with its features. Booty is associated with the exercise of power, which is not bad but a feature like any other . For its part, Faine has potestas and auctoritas command , authority . Every time he speaks , I listen because it has authority to say things and also really like , one thing that is unusual .

What will happen when estimated Faine Booty and presidents no longer Santander and La Caixa ?

I can trace my studies I did over 20 years ago on large Spanish companies as Planeta family type , Freixenet or Codorniú . Since then arose what should be the plan of succession, and have done so for a very successful way .
In the case of two financial institutions such as Banco Santander and La Caixa , I must say that both have spent many years preparing succession , are highly intelligent and should not have problems with this issue.
At Banco Santander , comes to mind Ana Patricia Botin, not just for the name but because he is a great manager , as demonstrated in this demonstrating Banesto and Santander UK .
As Faine , has Juan María Nin , who is an excellent manager , and an executive director Jaume Giro and a management team that is working like a pineapple to create business value.

What assessment is carried out of other financial institutions that are successful Spanish ?

I will mention three hugely successful Spanish financial institutions to which I quote in the book, although not specific chapters devoted to them . Sabadell , which has 5% of the business in Miami and growing. Bankinter , which is a success with very specific customer type and then is Banco Popular.

What do you think of companies that were successful and had to be nationalized ?

In five years, we have gone from a spray to a high concentration of entities.
We can look back to the time when Rafael Termes was president of the bank bosses , more than 20 years and had seven major banks and many boxes , some boxes that weighed heavily on bad real estate market and that explains the three financial reforms , mainly sanitation three moments of savings . In this regard , it should be noted that we have billions of euros stuffed into Bankia. I say we because it goes against the Spanish public debt , which , we all pay .
As for Bankia , I have to tell you Goirigolzarri is implementing a plan to make it smaller but profitable again in a couple of years , something that will not happen in other cases , which in many cases have disappeared, while others will disappear by way of mergers .

NOTE : The full interview can be found at number 389 of the paper edition of Banca15 , corresponding to the second half of January 2013.

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