Building a Global Bank: The Transformation of Banco by Mauro F. Guillén, Adrian Tschoegl

By Mauro F. Guillén, Adrian Tschoegl

In 2004, Spain's Banco Santander bought Britain's Abbey nationwide financial institution in a deal worth fifteen billion dollars--an acquisition that made Santander one of many ten greatest monetary associations on the planet. right here, Mauro Guill?n and Adrian Tschoegl take on the query of ways this once-sleepy, family-run provincial financial institution in a constructing financial system remodeled itself right into a financial-services staff with greater than sixty-six million shoppers on 3 continents. based one hundred fifty years in the past within the Spanish port urban of an identical identify, Santander is the one huge financial institution on this planet the place 3 successive generations of 1 kinfolk have led most sensible administration and the board of administrators. yet Santander is totally glossy. Drawing on wealthy info and in-depth interviews with relations and executives, Guill?n and Tschoegl exhibit how strategic judgements by way of the relatives and complicated political, social, technological, and monetary forces drove Santander's unparalleled upward push to international prominence. The authors position the financial institution during this aggressive milieu, evaluating it with its competitors in Europe and the US, and displaying how Santander, confronted with starting to be pageant in Spain and Europe, sought development possibilities in Latin the US and in other places. additionally they handle the complexities of managerial succession and relations management, and weigh the results of Santander's stellar upward push for the consolidation of eu banking. construction an international financial institution tells the interesting tale in the back of this strong corporation's extraordinary transformation--and of the relatives at the back of it.

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The 1930s initially represented a time of popular hope following the ousting of the monarchy and the proclamation of the Second Republic in 1931, but these changes soon gave rise to social and political convulsion, escalating violence, and civil war (1936–39). The Republic did little to change the banking status quo (Muñoz 1967, 167–73; Pérez 1997, 53–55; Tortella 1994, 334–35). The victory of General Franco’s diverse amalgam of conservative, reactionary, and fascist political movements and interests gave way to a policy first of autarky and later of import substitution.

In 1917 the Banco de España started to extend credit to the banks for up to 90 percent of their holdings of public debt, effectively freeing up funds that the banks could then channel to profitable opportunities in industry (Tortella and Palafox 1984). As Sofía Pérez (1997, 49) has wryly observed, however, the emerging Spanish model of bank-industry relations bore only superficial resemblance to the classic German model: Because industrial promotion was underwritten by inflationary public finance, it also stained the relationship between Spanish banks and the industrial sector with an “original sin”: that of rendering industrial investment a source of extraordinary profits for the banks, not requiring them to develop the kind of internal capacity and culture necessary for the development of competitive, long-term industrial investment strategies.

Lastly, they noted that Santander could not possibly have obtained large profits from nonfinancial stakes without having a team of executives specifically dedicated to the task, who would carefully manage the mix of investments at various stages of development (cash cows, liquidity, and growth). As a result of the implementation of these investment criteria, Santander has shifted its industrial portfolio considerably over the past twenty years. 1). The shift away from manufacturing took place during the late 1980s and early 1990s, as the bank sought to reduce its exposure to low-growth industries.

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