Emilio Botin

Emilio Botin

Spanish banker
Date of Birth: 01.10.1934
Country: Spain

  1. Biography of Emilio Botin
  2. Early Career
  3. Bank Mergers
  4. Personal Interests and Controversies

Biography of Emilio Botin

Emilio Botin was a Spanish banker who served as the executive director of the Spanish fund 'Grupo Santander'. He was born in Santander, Cantabria, in the northern region of Spain. Botin received his education from the University of Valladolid and the University of Deusto.

Emilio Botin

Early Career

In 1986, Botin succeeded his father as the president of the 'Santander' bank. At that time, the bank was just one among many Spanish banks and did not stand out significantly. However, Botin was well-acquainted with the banking industry as he had worked extensively in this field. Banking seemed to run in his family as his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all bankers.

Emilio Botin

Bank Mergers

In 1993, 'Santander' acquired 'Banco Español de Crédito', and in 1999, it merged with 'Banco Central Hispano' to form the largest bank in the country, 'Banco Santander Central Hispano'. In the new bank, Emilio Botin assumed the position of president alongside the former leader of 'Central Hispano', José María Amusategui. However, Amusategui retired in 2002.

Emilio Botin

In 2004, 'Banco Santander Central Hispano' acquired the British bank 'Abbey National', making 'BSCH' the second-largest bank in Europe. In July 2008, the magazine 'Euromoney' recognized 'Santander' as the best bank in the world. Under Emilio Botin's leadership, the bank received this prestigious title three times.

Personal Interests and Controversies

Despite holding a high position, Emilio Botin actively showed interest in various practical aspects of his bank's operations. He was particularly passionate about its expansion and regularly visited different 'Santander' branches. In 2010, the Spanish tax authorities discovered that Botin had secret accounts in Swiss banks, which had been in the family since at least 1937. Botin and the tax authorities reached a settlement, which cost him 200 million euros.

In 2012, Spain's High Court finally dropped the charges against Botin, confirming that the funds he had paid satisfied the tax authorities completely. Emilio Botin is married to Paloma O'Shea Artiñano, a prominent patron of the arts, and they have six children. In his free time, Botin enjoys playing golf, hunting, and fishing.