Alfredo Sáenz Abad

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Alfredo Sáenz, CEO Banco Santander

Alfredo Sáenz Abad (born November 21, 1942) is a Spanish businessman who is the CEO and Vice-Chairman of the Spanish bank Santander Group, the largest bank in the Eurozone and one of the largest banks in the world in terms of market capitalisation.[citation needed] He obtained his degree in Law from the University of Valladolid, and in Economics from the Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao.[1]


Sáenz started his career as an Executive Manager of Tubacex S.A. (1965–1980). After that, he was Deputy General Manager for Banco de Vizcaya (1981–1983); CEO and Chairman for Banca Catalana (1983–1988); CEO and Chairman for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (1988–1993); Chairman for Banco Español de Crédito (1993–2002), and First Deputy Chairman for Inmobiliaria Urbis S.A. (1998–2002)[2]

Sáenz joined Banco Santander in 1994 as a board member. From 2002 until 2013 he was Vice Chairman and CEO. He resigned as CEO on 29 April 2013, before the Bank of Spain had to make a ruling on the court case from 1994 [3]

During 2012, Alfredo Sáenz was chosen second best CEO in European Banking.[4] This year, during his tenure as CEO, Banco Santander has been named 'Best Bank in the world'.[5] This is the third time that Santander get this recognition in the past seven years.

In addition to his management work, Sáenz lectured at the University of Deusto from 1965 to 1984.[citation needed] In 1995 he joined the International Academy Of Management.[citation needed] From 1997 to 2000 he was on the European Advisory Council of Air Products & Chemicals.[citation needed] In 1998, he was awarded the Spanish government's Gold Medal (Medalla de Oro al Mérito en el trabajo) for his work.[citation needed] In 1999 he was on the International Advisory Board of London Business School.[citation needed] In 2000 he became Chair of the European Financial Management & Marketing Association.[citation needed]

In February 2016 he is appointed as president of the BDK Financial Group which controls the Bank of Dakar with headquarters in the capital of Senegal.[6] On March 8 2016 Sáenz acquires 5% of the shares of the BDK Financial Group which was created by Alberto Cortina.[7]

Sáenz is a Director of the Foundation Conde de Barcelona, the Foundation Empresa y Sociedad, the Foundation Cruz Roja Española, and the Foundation Ayuda Contra la Drogadicción.[citation needed]


-2006: Alfredo Sáenz receives the Manager Award 2006, awarded by the consulting firm AT Kearney, in the form of best manager in financial institutions.[8]

-2012: Alfredo Saenz has been chosen the second best CEO of European banks. The degree has been awarded by 1,470 analysts from 150 companies that participated in the magazine's annual ranking Institutional Investor.[9] This same study has also ranked as the third best in accordance with the vote of the 825 investors and managers funds of 435 companies participating in the study.


In 2011, the Supreme Court of Spain gave Sáenz a three-month ban from working as a banker, after a long legal action. He was convicted of false accusations against presumed debtors to Banesto, now a Santander subsidiary, who were briefly jailed over the affair in 1994.[10] Santander said he would appeal the decision, and that Sáenz would continue in his job.[11]

If the crime stood as convicted then he would lose his job as CEOs in Spain must be of good moral repute. On account of this the authorities converted his prison sentence to a pardon and replaced it with a lower penalty, a nominal fine.


According to, in 2007 Sáenz had a salary of €3 million, with a bonus of €5.5 million and additional earnings of just under €0.9 million for a total "compensation" of €9.6 million. In 2009, his total compensation was €10.2 million.[12]

According to, Sáenz will be Santander's top earner in 2012 with pay of £10.6 million as well as £1.2 million in shares awarded in earlier years but only to be received in 2012, and a £0.9 million pension contribution. ThisisMoney remarked that this was "despite the bank suffering a huge slump in profits due to a £538 million bill for mis-selling."[13]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Alfredo Saenz, Reuters. London, 30 December 2004.
  2. ^ Alfredo Saenz profile, ""
  3. ^ Alfredo Sáenz Abad,
  4. ^ "Alfredo Saenz chosen second best CEO of the European Banking". Forex Trade and Finance. August 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Banco Santander, elegido mejor banco del mundo por Euromoney". 6 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Veloso, Moncho (16 February 2016). "Alfredo Sáenz, nuevo presidente del banco africano de Alberto Cortina" (in Spanish). ABC. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  7. ^ Navás, José Antonio (8 March 2016). "Sáenz adquiere un 5% del 'holding' africano de Alberto Cortina y Alejandro Betancourt" (in Spanish). El Confidencial. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Alfredo Sáenz, mejor gestor en entidades financieras". Madrid, 15 December 2006.
  9. ^ "Alfredo Sáenz, elegido segundo mejor consejero de la banca europea". Abc. Madrid, 16 March 2012.
  10. ^ Victor Mallet (November 25, 2011). "Santander chief pardoned in 17-year-old case". Financial Times. 
  11. ^ Reuters. chief Alfredo Saenz banned from working as banker for three months. The Telegraph. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  12. ^ Alfredo Saenz Abad. Second Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Banco Santander SA, Madrid. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  13. ^ James Salmon. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012.