Ms. Riley will be responsible for all the bank’s businesses in the US and Mexico.

She will join Santander from Deutsche Bank on 1 October, subject to regulatory approval. She will also join the board of Santander’s payments business, PagoNxt.

Madrid, 26 April 2023.
Banco Santander is to appoint Christiana Riley as regional head of North America. Ms. Riley will join the bank on 1 October, subject to regulatory approval, and will be responsible for all the bank’s businesses in the US and Mexico, with the respective country heads, Tim Wennes and Felipe García Ascencio, reporting to her. She will be a member of the group management team and report to the group’s CEO, Héctor Grisi, who was the regional head for North America until he was appointed to his current role on 1 January 2023.

Ms Riley joins Santander from Deutsche Bank, where she was a member of the management board having held several leadership roles over the past 17 years in both Europe and the Americas.  She was most recently regional CEO for Deutsche’s business across the Americas, based in New York, and before that she was chief financial officer and co-CEO of Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB). Prior to joining Deutsche, Ms. Riley worked at McKinsey & Company in Frankfurt and Greenhill & Co in New York and Frankfurt. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the London Business School.

Santander executive chair, Ana Botín, said, “I am delighted that Christiana will be joining Santander to lead our team in North America. She has an outstanding background and a strong track record and I’m confident she will play an important role as we continue to support our customers and leverage the collective strength of the group across the region, building on the outstanding progress Tim and Felipe have already made.”

Santander serves 25 million customers across the US and Mexico, with c.45,000 employees and 1,900 branches. In 2022 the North America region generated 25% of group underlying profit with an adjusted return on tangible equity of 20.5%. 

In recent years the group has significantly increased operational and commercial collaboration across the US and Mexico.  The countries share a range of consolidated IT functions, and connectivity between the markets has allowed the bank to better support customers and enable profitable growth. In 2022 c.55% of revenue in the North America region was generate from the Group’s global and network businesses (Auto, CIB, Wealth Management & Insurance, and Payments).  As part of the new strategic priorities announced at Santander Investor Day on 28 Feb 2023, the bank confirmed its plans for the region, with a focus on businesses where the group has a proven a competitive advantage and benefits from the strength of the group network.

Santander created the regional organisational structure in 2019 to support and accelerate its strategy, with a simplified management structure supporting greater agility and collaboration, as well as maximising opportunities to leverage the Group’s expertise across its countries and global businesses. Santander’s Europe and South America regions are let by António Simões and Carlos Rey respectively, with the bank’s country heads acting as the primary Group representatives in each market across all regions.