The accolade, organised by the Business Council Alliance for Ibero-America (CEAPI), is awarded to private sector players who have made a valuable contribution to the economic and social development of the region.

The executive chairman of Santander Group received the panel's unanimous vote due to her notable contribution to business growth, job creation and rapprochement between countries in Latin America.

Madrid, 7 September 2021 - PRESS RELEASE
King Felipe VI of Spain has handed Ana Botín the Enrique V. Iglesias Award for Ibero-American Business Development today at the Zarzuela Palace, in recognition of her contribution to the economic and social development of Ibero-America and in strengthening ties between the countries that make up the region. Botín, the first woman to receive this distinction, was unanimously chosen by the panel as the winner of this 7th edition of the award, which is promoted by the Business Council Alliance for Ibero-America (CEAPI) in collaboration with various key institutional, economic and business figures present in the region. 

Due to the restrictions in place,  only a limited number of high-level institutional and business representatives attended the Enrique V. Iglesias Award ceremony,, notably the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares; the Secretary of State for Trade, Xiana Méndez; the Ibero-American Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan; the president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, Josep Lluís Bonet i Ferrer; the president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi; the president of Vocento, Ignacio Ybarra; the president of CEN, Juan Miguel Sucunza; and the honorary president of El País, Juan Luis Cebrián. Also present were the secretary general of the Youth Organisation for Ibero-America (OIJ), Max Trejo, and the president and honorary president of CEAPI, Núria Vilanova and Enrique V. Iglesias. Representing Santander Group at the ceremony were Rodrigo Echenique, former vice chairman of the Bank, Luis Isasi, non-executive chairman of Santander Spain, and Juan Manuel Cendoya Méndez de Vigo, vice chairman at Santander Spain and senior executive vice president of Communications, Corporate Marketing and Research at Santander Group.

The Enrique V. Iglesias Award has been running since 2014. It is awarded to business personalities within the Ibero-American community who have made extraordinary contributions to developing and strengthening ties between Ibero-American countries by fostering economic activity, investment and trade, while also helping to build a more inclusive and sustainable region. The award is also a testament to the work of Enrique V. Iglesias, honorary president of CEAPI, who has been a tireless advocate for the Ibero-American cause during his long and distinguished career, first as president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and later as the first secretary-general of the Ibero-American General Secretariat. 

Mexican businessman Valentín Diez Morodo was the first to receive this distinction, followed by banker, builder and philanthropist Luis Carlos Sarmiento; Peruvian businessman José Graña; VIPS Group founder Plácido Arango,; Pan-America Energy Group president Alejandro Bulgheroni and former CAF president Enrique García; and Copa Holdings president Stanley Motta.

This latest edition of the Enrique V. Iglesias Award symbolises, more than ever, the unity and commitment shown by Ibero-American entrepreneurs and business owners in helping to rebuild the region following the terrible economic and social impact of COVID-19. And it gives us the opportunity to recognise the efforts of this outstanding ambassador of the private sector in forging a new, more sustainable and fairer Ibero-America”, remarked CEAPI president, Núria Vilanova.

Ana Botín is an example to us all. She has become one of Spain's most important business representatives at the helm of Santander Group and a leading figure throughout Latin America, where the bank she heads has been a prominent force for many years. She fully deserves to be the first woman to receive this award”, added Vilanova. Botín has fostered a strong cultural, humanistic and scientific approach at the Banco Santander Foundation. She has also dedicated much of her time to the importance of sustainability and the recovery of natural heritage, with programmes that help to raise public awareness of the need for a fairer, more equitable and sustainable society.”

Ana Botín's name was put forward by Ángel Gurría, ex-secretary general of the OECD, who described her to the panel as “an excellent representative of the values of entrepreneurship, but also of cooperation in the Ibero-American sphere and of commitment to the social and economic progress of the countries that make up the region.” When announcing the winner, the jury of the 7th edition of the award unanimously decided that the award should go to Botín, highlighting her “contribution to business growth, job creation and stronger relations between Latin American countries, and also her leadership in transforming Santander Group and her social commitment to education, which has had a positive impact on the region's development.” 

For the honorary president of CEAPI, Enrique V. Iglesias, “there is no question that this 7th award should go to this remarkable person, who has had a brilliant career in the economic and financial realms, leading one of the main banks in Spain and indeed the world, and showing a commendable commitment to the economic and social development of Latin America.”

Ana Botín, in accepting the award, highlighted Santander's decades-long commitment to Latin America: “Santander is currently the leading financial franchise in the region with more than 80,000 employees and 76 million customers. Santander Group trusts in Latin America and will continue to invest there. We will further pursue digitalisation, environmental sustainability and financial inclusion across the region.” In her eyes, “Latin America needs a new social contract aimed at mitigating inequalities” and “this can be partially achieved through greater trade integration in the region and by Europe becoming more committed to Latin America.”

Making up the panel of the 7th edition of the Enrique V. Iglesias Award were Enrique V. Iglesias himself, as award president; Núria Vilanova, president of CEAPI and award secretary; María José Álvarez, executive president of Eulen; Josep Lluis Bonet, president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce; Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Ana Botella, president of the Integra Foundation; Luis Carranza, former president of CAF; Juan Luis Cebrián, honorary president of El País; Antonio Fernández-Galiano, former chairman of Unidad Editorial; Antonio Garamendi, president of the CEOE; Arancha González Laya, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Rebeca Grynspan, Ibero-American secretary general; José Ángel Gurría, former secretary general of the OECD; Jose Luis Martínez Almeida, mayor of Madrid; Xiana Méndez, Secretary of State for Trade; Josep Piqué, president of Fundación Iberoamericana Empresarial; Gina Magnolia Riaño, secretary general of OISS; Max Trejo, secretary general of the Youth Organisation for Ibero-America (OIJ); and Ignacio Ybarra, president of Vocento.

The panel also featured winners from previous editions, including Alejandro Bulgheroni, chairman of Pan American Energy Group; Luis Carlos Sarmiento, banker, builder and philanthropist; Valentín Díez Morodo, president of the Mexican Business Council of Foreign Trade (COMCE); and Stanley Motta, president of COPA Holdings.

The Business Council Alliance for Ibero-America (CEAPI) is an association comprising more than 160 business owners and presidents of leading Ibero-American companies. Its mission is to recognise and promote the role of business owners and their impact on society by championing social commitment and sustainability.

CEAPI's vocation is to build a more united Ibero-America and to forge relationships of trust between business owners on the path to growing and strengthening the Ibero-American business fabric. As a think tank, we reflect on both challenges and opportunities within the region, fostering dialogue with political and institutional leaders, seeking to enrich public-private partnerships and making room for new generations and the key role now played by women in developing business and society.