Bloomberg News

Banesto Chief Outon Moves to New Role at Santander (Update2)

June 22, 2006

Federico Outon, chief executive officer of Banco Espanol de Credito SA (BTO), left his position at the Spanish lender to join parent Santander Central Hispano SA.

Jose Garcia Cantera, 40, the head of wholesale banking, will replace him.

Outon, CEO of the Madrid-based bank since 2002, will join Santander, Spain's biggest bank, as a general director reporting to CEO Alfredo Saenz, Banesto said in a filing to regulators. Outon will stay on Banesto's board.

Banesto Chairwoman Ana Patricia Botin, the daughter of Emilio Botin, Santander's Chairman, is reorganizing her executive team after the bank this year announced a new growth plan aimed at winning more business from small and medium companies. Banesto, a unit that contributes about 8 percent of Santander profit, plans to open 200 branches to serve smaller business clients, the bank said.

``These have been four years of very intense work in which the leadership and commitment of Federico have been essential to the transformation of Banesto,'' Ana Botin said in a statement. ``We'll miss Federico.''

Before joining Banesto in 2003, Garcia worked for Citigroup Inc. as head of European equity research among other positions. Ana Botin replaced Santander's Saenz as chairman of Banesto in 2002.

`Very Good Team'

``Banesto has always had a very good team, and that will continue as long as Ana Patricia is in charge,'' said Mario Lodos, an analyst Ibersecurities in Madrid. He has a ``buy'' rating on Banesto. ``These changes aren't any cause for concern.''

Among other changes announced today at Banesto, Juan Delibes will report directly to Ana Botin as general director of corporate development and finance.

Jaime Ybarra takes over as head of Banesto's businesses area. Jose Nieto de la Cierva will become general director of wholesale banking, Banesto said. Jose Corral Lope, resigned from the board for personal reasons, the bank said.

Banesto shares rose 1.3 percent, to 13.67 euros in Madrid.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at at cpenty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net; Katherine Snyder at ksnyder@bloomberg.net


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