Banco Santander, Spain’s biggest lender, announced on Wednesday that its chairman and patriarch Emilio Botín has died, Financial Times reported.
Botín, who is 79 years old, died of a heart attack Tuesday night, according to the report.
Trough a series of acquisitions, the tycoon oversaw the rise of his family’s bank, Grupo Santander, from a provincial lender in northern Spain to become the biggest by value in the eurozone.
He was very much a hands-on chairman, often scrutinizing individual loans, FT noted.
Botín’s eldest daughter, Ana Patricia, who heads the group’s UK business, has long been seen as the leading contender to succeed her father.
She would be the fourth generation of the family to take over the institution, which has been run by the dynasty for 105 years, the report noted.
Santander’s board will meet later Wednesday to appoint a new chairperson.
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