Santander has appointed Octaviano Couttolenc as the head of global export and agency finance, reporting to Jorge Tapia, global head of trade, export and commodity finance.

Couttolenc was previously head of corporate and investment banking at Santander’s global and markets division in Mexico.

Couttolenc replaces Sebastian Romero, who has been named head of corporate investment banking in Chile.

In his new role, he will place special emphasis on the company’s core geographies, but is also looking to support clients in new markets, Couttolenc tells GTR.

These new geographies will be in countries such as Poland, the UK and the US, which are good avenues for additional growth, he adds.

Under Couttolenc, Santander will also increase its focus in Asia, where it has a Hong Kong-based division.

Beyond geographic expansion, Couttolenc is also looking to expand Santander’s client base: “Opportunities also exist in expanding our product reach to large local corporates, as has been done in Spain successfully, on a more global scale.”

The company will also be looking to “benefit from strong project finance expertise to jointly-develop the export credit agency-covered project finance business, which presents attractive growth opportunities“, he adds.

Santander has also appointed two other senior managers who will report to Couttolenc.

Erik Hoffmann will be in charge of the origination and structuring division, with particular emphasis on German-speaking countries. He was previously head of the global origination section for trade and export finance at West LB.

Guillermo Hombravella has been appointed as head of structuring and product development and will focus on increasing export credit agency-related project finance transactions.