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November 3, 2010    

Santander’s Horta-Osório appointed as Lloyds new CEO

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by Kay Murchie

It has been revealed this morning that António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Santander’s UK businesses, will replace Eric Daniels, who is stepping down from Lloyds Banking Group.

Fifty-nine-year-old Daniels announced in September that he would be retiring next year.

Daniels, who is the longest serving CEO at a major British bank, faced heavy criticism following the controversial takeover of HBOS in autumn 2008 and has been under pressure for some time to step down.

However, he has since returned Lloyds to profitability in the first six months of the year and managed the bulk of the integration of the HBOS business.

Meanwhile, Lloyds, which is currently 41% owned by the taxpayer, announced today that Mr Horta-Osório would assume his new role in March 2011.

According to banking experts, forty-six-year-old Horta-Osório is faced with a tough challenge when he takes over.

He will also be responsible for managing the disposal of the 41% stake and will have the task of disposing of assets, which Lloyds has been forced to do under the orders of the European Commission, as a punishment of the billions of pounds in state aid that it received at the height of the financial crisis.

The news will no doubt come as a surprise to investors who had expected the bank to appoint an internal applicant. Frontrunners for the position had included Helen Weir, the current head of Lloyds’ core UK retail banking division, and Tim Tookey, finance director.

Finally, it is understood that Ana Patrica Botín, the daughter of Santander’s chairman Emilio Botín, will replace Mr Horta-Osório. However, this is yet to be confirmed.

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Tags: António Horta-Osório, challenges, disposals, , found, Government stake, , replacement,