The lawyers of Banco Santander and Andrea Orcel have confirmed that there is no out-of-court agreement between the two parties, following the lawsuit filed by the Italian banker against the bank after his signing as CEO was not formalized. Today the judicial process has started with the preview, scheduled for April 13 but delayed due to the coronavirus.
Without agreement in said preview, the magistracy has set March 10 as the date for the start of the oral trial, to which it will go to declare the President of Banco Santander, Ana Botín. It has also been cited Axel Alfred Weber. President of UBS, a bank in which Orcel was CEO, since he left to join Santander,
They will also declare Jaime Pérez Renovales, secretary of the board of directors of Banco Santander, and Roberto di Bernardini, former head of human resources and current director of Talent. In addition, it is included Mark Shelton, head of human resources at the Swiss bank.
Before this decision, the hearing has focused on preliminary questions, such as the evidence or witnesses that will be accepted during the trial, and the magistrates can set a date for the process itself. It will be one of the few times that the clauses of a top-tier banker’s deal are subject to judicial scrutiny.
The differences between the Italian banker and the Spanish bank began in early 2019, when the Spanish financial group finally decided not to sign the former CEO of UBS. It was then that Orcel chose to sue Santander, initially claiming his incorporation to the position for which his signing was requested, CEO, or compensation of 112 million euros, an amount that he continues to request.
Orcel defends that he was hired to be number two in Santander, a position that was publicly announced in September 2018, a few months before what was expected to be his incorporation. And for this reason he left his senior management position at UBS.
Despite the fact that the entity has always assured that it tried to reach an agreement with him after giving up his signing as Botín’s number two in the entity, the situation between the two became distant, which has led to a judicial journey. Orcel maintains that the bank not only failed to honor the contract, but has ended its distinguished financial career.
Despite the time that has elapsed, neither party has managed to convince the other to reach an out-of-court settlement in all this time.
In fact, and according to some sources familiar with this case, the positions between the two bankers have become even more fierce as a result of the recordings made by Orcel of private telephone conversations with Ana Botín, which have been made public.
There is the circumstance that Ana Botín also has to go as a witness to another trial, in this case the one that is being followed in the National Court due to the fall of Banco Popular in June 2017. She will testify on October 8.