Manuel Azuaga leaves the post of president of Unicaja

A new change in the leadership of Unikakha. A few months after Manuel Menendez stepped down as CEO of the company, this Friday it was the turn of historic banker Manuel Azuaga. The manager informed the board that he is leaving his seat on the bank’s governing body and, therefore, the chairmanship of the group. His expected departure comes after two tumultuous years for the entity following a merger and governance crisis.

Thus, there are no longer two visible faces of Liberbank (Menendez) and Unicakha (Azuaga), when two years have passed since the merger of this bank. The bank has now activated a “succession plan” to seek a replacement to head the country’s sixth entity board.

Azuaga informed the entity that he considers his mandate at the bank to be fulfilled after “all aspects of the merger with Liberbank have been completed, the transition period provided for therein, as well as the completion of various processes in the field of corporate governance”. . Azuaga’s departure was not a surprise, as it was expected that a new redistribution of power would take place after the first two years after the merger.

The banker has been with Unicaja since its birth as a bank in 2011, but has had a long career in the financial sector since the mid-1980s.

Unicaha and Liberbank sealed their tie-up at the end of 2020, though it came into force in 2021. The two banks had already discussed their tie-up years ago, but it was shelved. The new alliance was born out of the weakness of the internal power-sharing agreement between the two banks, which has led to one of the most significant governance battles experienced in the banking sector since the last financial crisis.

This battle ended in two hasty sorties. The first was Braulio Medell, president of the Unicaja Foundation, the bank’s first shareholder. The move was pressured by the government and the ECB, given the problem the bank faced with the election of directors. The second was Menendez’s, before the summer. With Azuaga’s departure, the saga of the bankers who have been discussing the future of the entity and its predecessors for decades has come to an end.

Added to this in recent weeks has been the stock movement, which will certainly affect the composition of the entity’s board of directors in the coming months. Notable among these moves is Tomás Olivo, one of Spain’s biggest fortunes, who recently increased his stake to 9%, becoming the bank’s second-largest shareholder.

Source: El Diario

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