Banco Santander has formed a tech-focused international advisory board, chaired by former US treasury secretary Larry Summers, to help steer the bank's digital transformation strategy.
The formation of the seven-member panel was trailed by chairman Ana Botin at the Spanish bank's annual general meeting. Prominent tech leaders onboard include Charles Phillips, the former president of Oracle and CEO of Infor, Francisco D’Souza, chief executive officer of Cognizant, and Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst.
“All of its members share the experience of managing the digital transformation of their organisations," said Botin. "The true power of technology to transform lives emerges when it is adopted and distributed by companies like ours. The way we internalise and adapt to new technology in the coming years will determine our success.”
Santander has been investing heavily in digital products and services over the past year. Its $100 million InnoVentures fund has actively invested in fast-growing companies at the forefront of the fintech startup space, including marketplace lender Kabbage and blockchain outfits Digital Asset Holdings and Ripple.
Earlier this year, the bank appointed J Peter Jackson, the former CEO of Travelex as head of the bank's Innovation area, specifically created one year ago to research and anticipate disruptive market trends. The innovation area includes Openbank, the group´s online bank in Spain.