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Equality
Corporate Leadership

Europe’s Lone Female Investment Bank Head Is on a Hiring Spree

  • Luisa Gomez Bravo is pushing to grow investment bank headcount
  • BBVA veteran says gender dynamic in investment banking changed
A Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA) bank branch in Barcelona.

A Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA) bank branch in Barcelona.

Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

The sole woman in charge of an investment bank in Europe is wielding a unique opportunity to reshape her division and boost growth at one of Spain’s largest lenders.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA executive Luisa Gomez Bravo, a 24-year veteran of Spain’s second-largest bank, is now rolling out one of the most ambitious recruitment programs in the industry while driving up the share of female new hires. The Bilbao-based lender is looking to boost headcount in the division by about 400 this year, or 10%, at a time when banks globally are in a bidding war for talent.