Ana Patricia Botin: BANCO ESPANOL DE CREDITO

BANCO ESPANOL DE CREDITO

While Spain's new government is trying to end its patriarchal traditions by allowing women to head the monarchy, the private sector is ahead of the curve. Ana Patricia Botín, 43, a financial veteran, is executive chairwoman of Banco Español de Credito (Banesto), and when her father Emilio retires as chairman, she may take over the parent firm, family-controlled Grupo Santander, which is Spain's biggest banking empire. Botín, who speaks five languages, has learned how to face those who charge nepotism. "I started at the bottom," she says. "Nobody has given me anything." Indeed, Botín has had setbacks. She overexpanded Santander's operations...

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