In a surprise move, Banco Santander recently promoted Jesus Gomez to head the equity research division at its brokerage business, replacing Mariano Colmenar, who is leaving the bank, according to a Bloomberg article.
Staff Changes at Santander
While the reason for the move was not explained, Jesus Gomez is no newcomer to Banco Santander. Gomez spent the past 5 years in New York as Head of Global Equity Strategy and Head of Latam Research and Strategy at Grupo Santander. Prior to that role, Gomez was Head of European Equity Research and Strategy at Banco Santander in Madrid for over 12 years. Previously, Gomez worked as an equity analyst at both UBS and Deutsche Bank.
Banco Santander’s previous global head of research, Mariano Colmenar, held that role for over seven years and steered the research team as it consistently received high ranks from institutional investors for their coverage of both Iberia and Latin America.
In addition to Colmenar’s departure, research analysts Arancha Bueno and Aranzazu Cortina were also said to be leaving Banco Santander.
Like many other European banks, Banco Santander, has been suffering from difficult conditions in Spain as the firm experienced a 10% drop in earnings during the 1st Qtr. As a result, Banco Santander is closing branches in its home market and has eliminated about 1,400 jobs in Spain this year as low interest rates, weak demand for credit and tough domestic competition squeeze margins. Now Brexit has pummeled most European bank stocks, including Santander.
Consequently, the big question we have is whether this most recent research management change at Banco Santander is meant to provide a meaningful new direction for their research group, or it’s a short-term band aid covering up a much bigger problem with the bank’s underlying business. We think it might be the latter, but we will have to wait and see what the future holds for Banco Santander.