The bank that Botín built: A banking giant and a giant bank

Over the past 30 years Santander has grown from a minnow to the euro zone’s biggest bank, thanks to the dealmaking of its chairman, Emilio Botín, who died on September 9th. It even did well out of the carve-up of ABN Amro—a deal that ruined two bigger rivals, RBS and Fortis—snapping up Banco Real, its resilient Brazilian unit.

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