Corporate Leadership Program

Shaping the Global Leaders of Tomorrow

01/06/2013 Madrid


After several years of rapid international expansion, Santander was in need of global leaders that possessed professional and personal skills to lead the bank’s global growth. The corporate culture and strategy had to be embedded quickly and efficiently in those organizations that had been acquired. It was clear to Santander that, to get the job done, there was a need for a partner like IESE, with extensive experience in developing custom programs and promoting leadership within international organizations.

The Corporate Leadership Program (CLP), designed in partnership by IESE and Santander, was closely related with the bank’s strategy of international and inorganic growth and development. It blended the core values of both organizations and consolidated a wide range of academic approaches combining lectures, business cases, team discussions, live projects, company visits, workshops, online interactions, executive coaching and peer-to-peer coaching.

One of the most interesting aspects of the program is its evolution along with the expansion of the group. Given the clear need to offer a program that would provide participants with a global vision, in the first edition a module of the program was delivered in Shanghai, China. In 2009 the program was redesigned to incorporate one module in Sao Paulo, reflecting Santander’s acquision of a bank in Brazil. Later, the week in China was split in two different locations, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Finally, when the presence of the Bank in mainland China was more consolidated and its growth plans in this market were clear, the Hong Kong module was swapped with a module in Beijing.

The full support of Santander’s top management for the program’s objectives of developing high-potential managers into corporate leaders into corporate leaders for the future of the group, was key for the program’s success. Participants gained a better understanding of the bank’s overall strategy; they developed a new approach to delivering value for customers; they created an extensive network amongst professionals from different countries, departments and functions; and they acquired additional tools to manage dispersed international teams in a more efficient and productive way.

The CLP is a testament of the decisive growth and internationalization. Santander has undergone in the last decade. The program demonstrates the group’s clear focus on encouraging internal talent and developing their aptitudes and attitudes to lead the group in the new economic, geographical and strategic environment of the 21 st century.