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Third-gen CEO at Banco Espirito Santo set to step down

The third-generation chief executive of Portugal’s largest listed bank, Banco Espirito Santo (BES), is set to stand down and be replaced by a non-family member.
Salgado to step down in July.

The third-generation chief executive of Portugal’s largest listed bank, Banco Espirito Santo (BES), is set to stand down and be replaced by a non-family member. 

The 94-year-old bank’s announcement came shortly after a rights offering earlier this month that cost the Espirito Santo family their controlling stake in the Lisbon-based company.

The family had had a 54% stake, but this dropped to 46% after the €1 billion rights issue.

In a statement, the bank said shareholder Espirito Santo Financial Group (ESFG), had proposed the bank’s chief financial officer Amilcar Morais Pires replace existing chief executive Ricardo Salgado.

It called for a general meeting with shareholders to decide on the matter, set for 31 July.

Espirito Santo family members will also step down from the existing board and form a “strategic committee” instead.

A holding company for the Espirito Santo family, Espirito Santo International, owns approximately half of ESFG. 

In May, ESFG reported “serious irregularities” in the accounts of its Luxembourg-based parent company.

The Espirito Santo family lost control of BES’s Portugal operations once before when it was nationalised by the revolutionary government of 1975 but regained control 16 years later.

Under Salgado’s leadership, BES expanded into new areas including asset management and investment banking. 


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