Banca Manuel Azuaga activates the succession plan in Unicaja after resigning as president of the entity

Unicaja puts the bow on the turbulent revolution in its leadership

Banca Manuel Azuaga activates the succession plan in Unicaja after resigning as president of the entity

Unicaja puts the bow on the turbulent revolution in its leadership. The president, Manuel Azuaga, presented his resignation to the entity's board of directors this Friday after more than seven years at the helm. The departure launches the company's succession plan and activates the search process for the future president.

"Mr. Azuaga has indicated that it is the ideal time for him to take over his position and put an end to his career developed at Unicaja Banco since its constitution in 2011, and in the entities that preceded him, since 1986," the statement said. sent this Friday to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

The entity highlights that this is a "personal decision" that has nothing to do with the controversies that have surrounded the bank in recent years, after its merger with the Asturian Liberbank. The most disputed episode ended with the departure of Manuel Menéndez as CEO and the appointment of Isidro Rubiales to the position.

It was not an easy relief. Azuaga dealt with the internal war between the Malaga and Asturian blocs that broke out after the merger with Liberbank in 2021; After the change he lost his executive functions, as planned after the integration, so that he now served as non-executive president.

"The succession will be done in an orderly manner," the bank tells EL MUNDO. The process will have the support of an independent consultant and it is not ruled out that the final choice will also be someone independent, following the recommendations of the European Central Bank (ECB). It is expected to last for a few months.

His resignation will take effect once the ECB's supervisory no-objection is obtained and when the appointment, as president, of whoever will succeed him in said position is agreed, as Unicaja has informed the CNMV. The board of directors has thanked him for "his dedication and services provided to him."

Azuaga had a mandate as a member of the Unicaja board of directors until 2025, since his last re-election as a director was in March 2022, a body he joined in December 2011.

The bank of Malaga origin has experienced important shareholder changes in recent months. Last August, the Oceanwood Capital Management LLP fund almost completely sold its stake in Unicaja, shedding 7.06% of the capital.

The Mexican investor Ernesto Luis Tinajero did the same thing a few days ago, who through Aivilo Spain, his holding company in Spain, sold off his entire 2.95% stake in Unicaja for 74.52 million euros.

This movement was taken advantage of by businessman Tomás Olivo, the sixth richest Spaniard in the country, according to Forbes magazine, to gain weight in Unicaja. Olivo, which had 6.74% of the capital, has become the second largest shareholder of the Malaga bank, exceeding 9%, after purchasing part of the shares sold by the Mexican Tinajero.

The businessman of Murcian origin, owner of the company General de Galerías Comerciales, which has, among others, the La Cañada shopping center in Marbella, in this way reinforces the right he already had to have a position on the board of directors, just as Efe remembers.

In fact, Olivo could get the position on the board that corresponded to the Oceanwood Capital Management LLP fund and that is pending to be filled after the resignation of proprietary director David Vaamonde due to the decrease in the shareholding of that company, which now holds 0.35% of the capital.

The Unicaja Banking Foundation is the largest shareholder of Unicaja Banco with 30.24%, followed by Tomás Olivo, with more than 9%, and Indumenta Pueri (the family that owns the Malaga textile group Mayoral), with 8.54%. With its 7.47%, Norges Bank now becomes the fourth largest shareholder of Unicaja, ahead of the Caja de Ahorros de Asturias Banking Foundation, with 6.67%.

The insurance company Santalucía is also a significant shareholder of the entity, which last October once again strengthened its position, increasing its participation from 3.5 to 5%.