Alejandra Kindlan, a banker holding the banner of diplomacy | Opinion
Extensive experience in public relations and international forums in defense of banking interests. This is what Alejandra Kendelán Oteza (Caracas, Venezuela, 1971) will contribute to the presidency of the Association of Employers of Banks, the Spanish Banking Association (AEB).
Santander’s board of directors was chosen by the foundation’s five major banks (Bank, BBVA, Sabadell, Bankinter, Deutsche Bank) as the presidential candidate, replacing Jose Maria Roldan, who resigned after eight years in office for a third term. The date must be approved on April 5th. Kindelán will become the fifth person to head the foundation after Rafael Termus, José Luis Leal, Miguel Martin and Roldan.
People who know her highlight her curiosity, her sense of humor, and that she has a great ability to socialize: she is very open to interacting with everyone. He has a 22-year-old daughter and two sons, ages 14-19. He loves hiking in the mountains and being with his family, and he really enjoys meeting people from other places. International influence comes from birth: his grandparents are of four different nationalities. She is the daughter of a Spanish-English flight engineer, Merrill Lynch manager, and a Venezuelan, with three daughters and a son.
Alejandra Kindlan was born in the United States, lived in the United Kingdom and Spain (after her father was appointed president of the Merrill chapter), and studied economics and politics at Wellesley College, a private women’s university in Massachusetts (USA), where she made many friends from different countries . He speaks English and French, has postgraduate studies in Banking and Finance at IESE (Madrid) and executive training at Insead (Fontainebleau, Paris).
He cares about social issues and that’s why he became an economist to make things better. She began her career, for six months, as a consultant in the Public Policy Research Division of the World Bank in Washington, where she wrote a thesis on Education in the World.
She joined the research department of Banco Central Hispano as Head of International Economics in 1994. After merging with Santander, seven years later, José Manuel Sendoya had recently appointed her as General Manager Communications, Corporate Marketing and Studies, as head of the study service that gave her significant weight and linked her to the risk department and to regulation and oversight.
Kindlan began chairing the European Banking Union’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in Brussels in 2006 (he would do so until 2012). With this experience, in 2008 he formed and incorporated the Department of Public Affairs and Public Policy into his responsibilities. He has a lot of relationships, and even friendship, with people devoted to this discipline in other banks. A decade later, he added Santander’s corporate relations direction to his resume.
She and her team coordinate the Bank’s position on issues such as financial regulation, macroeconomics and financial analysis, in collaboration with local teams. They also regulate relations with the concerned Institutions and the Bank’s presence in international forums.
She was a director and member of the Legal and Compliance Committee of Santander Argentina between 2016 and 2020, and since that year has been on the board of directors of Santander Consumer Finance, the bank’s consumer finance business in Europe. She has held the position of Executive Vice President for Business at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an advisory board for the sector, since 2017, and a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank for a year.
He is also a member of the Steering Committee on Effective Regulation of the Washington-based Institute of International Finance, since 2015. He holds advisory or executive positions in several Spanish academic and economic entities: Fedea, the School of Industrial Regulation, the Foundation for Finance Studies or the Institute of Economic Studies. She has been a sponsor of AEB since 2019.
“I believe in dialogue between people, institutions, governments, and any agent with a goal or idea that helps us advance,” he says. “When we find common ground, we can all benefit, both individuals and companies. During my career at Santander, I’ve learned how important it is for companies to put themselves in a position on issues that matter to people, as well as the value of fostering female talent and leadership.”
Santander President, Ana Botín, and BBVA President, Carlos Torres, both commenting in presenting the 2021 results, are in favor of a woman being the president of the employers’ association. Putin has chaired the European Banking Union for only one year, and Santander’s proposal on the AEB is usually decisive.
Among the challenges for Kindelán are improving the sector’s reputation after the recent office closures and ERE, and the controversy over the exclusion of the elderly. Workers mobilize to demand an increase in the workforce that would allow them to accept proposals from entities and the government. Organizational differences with financial technology Big tech companies, and shadow banking, are other issues of interest to the sector. Another question is whether AEB will merge with CECA, the business of legacy savings banks, headed by Isidro Fainé. The new director will not lack diplomacy and the ability to build bridges.
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