Jose Antonio Alvarez, '96 (EXP-1), named CEO of Banco Santander

Jose Antonio Alvarez, ’96 (EXP-1), was named CEO of Banco Santander, one of the world’s largest banks. Alvarez was CFO for a decade, after joining the Spanish bank in 2002. His new appointment takes effect January 1.

Alvarez is familiar to analysts, as he routinely presided over the bank’s financial conference calls, the New York Times reported.

‘‘Mr. Alvarez is an experienced and well-regarded executive whose leadership should be positive for Santander and the shares,’’ Citigroup analysts Stefan Nedialkov and Francesco Di Giambattista, said in a research note according to the New York Times. ‘‘We expect continuity, predictability and potentially more transparency on issues such as capital and strategic priorities.’’

A former colleague described Alvarez’s world outlook to the news and financial service Bloomberg.

“The new CEO is characterized by his vision of global markets,” said Alvaro Cuervo, director of the University College of Financial Studies in Madrid, who served alongside Alvarez on the board of Bolsas y Mercados Espanoles. “Perhaps the focus on Spain loses emphasis. And perhaps it will mean an increase in emphasis on investment banking.”

Before joining Banco Santander, Alvarez had worked for companies related to Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA since 1995, and was appointed CFO in 2004. He was in Chicago Booth's inaugural class of the Executive MBA Program Europe in Barcelona.

Banco Santander underwent a leadership change following the death of Chairman Emilio Botín in September. He was succeeded by his daughter Ana Botín, previously head of Santander’s British operation. She has sought to strengthen the bank against tougher competition and stricter regulation, according to Bloomberg. The lender has operations from the US to Poland and Brazil.