Santander Latin America Division Head Francisco Luzon Resigns

Francisco Luzon, head of Banco Santander SA (SAN)’s Latin American business, has resigned.

Luzon, 64, an executive board member of Spain’s biggest bank, will be replaced in his Latin American role by Jesus Zabalza, his deputy in the region, the bank said in a statement sent by e-mail today.

Luzon, named to the board in 1997, is a former chairman of Argentaria SA, a state-owned banking group that was absorbed by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA. (BBVA) As head of the Latin American business from 1999, Luzon ran a division that increased profit in 2010 to 4.8 billion euros ($6.2 billion) from 546 million euros when he took on the role, Santander said.

“The bank wishes to express its recognition of the extraordinary work Francisco Luzon has carried out in his 15 years as an executive board member and, in particular, of his work in the Americas division, which was crucial in building the franchise in Latin America,” Santander said.

Luzon who earned 1.66 million euros in fixed pay in 2011, has a 56 million-euro pension, compared with 25 million euros in retirement funds for Chairman Emilio Botin and 87 million euros for Chief Executive Officer Alfredo Saenz, according to the bank’s remuneration report.

Luzon’s plans were previously reported in El Pais.

To contact the reporter for this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at cpenty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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