Chairman of Santander’s Portuguese Unit Dies from Coronavirus

Antonio Vieira Montero, Chairman of Spain’s largest bank, Santander, passed away at the age of 73 yesterday, a source familiar with the matter said.

A spokesperson at Santander confirmed the death.

According to Portuguese paper Jornal Economico, Vieira Montero was placed in quarantine after traveling to hit Italy earlier this month.

He had been in intensive care in a Lisbon hospital since last week.

Vieira Montero became Chairman of Santander Totta in 2019 after seven years as chief executive.

Following Santander Portugal’s announcement of the passing of its Chairman, Santander Group released a statement from its Executive Chairman, Ana Botín.

“Early this morning we lost a dear friend and a great leader and professional Antonio Vieira, Chairman of Santander in Portugal and until recently our CEO,” Botín was quoted in the statement. “Antonio joined Santander many years ago, he was part of my team from the beginning and was with us in different roles for 20 years. Antonio was passionate about his job and passionate about life. He was a true responsible banker, who delivered always and always the right way.”

“This morning when I was speaking to Pedro, our Portugal CEO and later to Rita, Antonio’s daughter, I felt very personally the true dimension of this crisis. It was one of the saddest moments ever. Antonio left us way too soon. His daughter will not be able to attend the funeral as she has the virus herself. My colleagues and I -even though most of us are still healthy- will also be unable to do so,” the statement continues.

“I want to tell everyone in the extended Santander family and beyond, to all our communities and Governments and authorities, CEOs, let’s work together and save lives, and to save the jobs that can help save lives. Let’s each one of us contribute what we are best at, and forget ideologies and political parties, we are all one global family.”

“Working together, we can solve this faster and recover faster. Today I also want to send my personal condolences to the many people across the Santander family and especially in Portugal. And to all the other families who are grieving their friends and loved ones today.”

“Thank you Antonio, it has been a privilege to be your colleague and friend,” Botín added.

At press time, Portugal had reported 448 confirmed cases of COVID-19, far below neighboring Spain’s 13,716 cases.

(Photo: wikimedia commons)

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