Chris Sullivan has moved from management consultancy Elixirr to head up Santander’s Corporate & Commercial Bank. In his new role he will be responsible for Santander’s corporate and institutional clients, markets business and larger SME portfolio, and will report to Nathan Bostock, the UK CEO of the Spanish-origin bank.
Chris Sullivan joined Elixirr in May of last year as a Partner and Client Chairman, holding a market-facing role across all of the firm’s industries. Sullivan’s career prior to consulting saw him build up more than 40 years of experience at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), working in a range of positions across the organisation during that time, including 20 years of executive leadership. In his most recent role at RBS Sullivan served as Deputy Group Chief Executive.
Roughly eight months down the line, Sullivan has decided to leave the consulting firm, agreeing to join Santander – Spain’s biggest bank by assets – in an executive role: head of its Corporate and Commercial Bank. Stephen Newton, Managing Partner of Elixirr, says the consultancy is “delighted” with the opportunity provided to Sullivan, adding “I am very proud to be able to say Chris was a member of our leadership team and thank him for the outstanding contribution he has made to our firm.”
In his new role, which went into effect 1 January 2016, Sullivan will be responsible for Santander’s larger SME, corporate and institutional clients and markets business, a role which will allow him to leverage his 40+ years of banking and management consulting experience. “There is no one more qualified than Chris to guide our Corporate and Commercial Business through Banking Reform, weaving it together with the best of our Institutional and Markets business to deliver clients a new banking experience,” reflects Santander UK CEO Nathan Bostock, who has been at the helm of the UK organisation since September 2014, when he was poached from RBS to replace Ana Patricia Botín, after her elevation to Executive Chairman following the passing away of her father earlier that month.
Commenting on his appointment, Sullivan says he faced “a unique opportunity”, leaving him “delighted” with the move. “Santander is a bank which has the ability and scale to challenge the status quo of UK banking,” he adds.
In the run up to the implementation of Banking Reform, Santander has decided to separate its Retail and Business Banking activities (the future Ring Fenced Bank) from its Corporate and Commercial Banking activities and Institutional and Markets business (the future Non-Ring Fenced Bank). The retail banking segment in the UK is dominated by the Big Four, who combined hold a 77% market share of customers, while the corporate banking segment faces a slightly more fragmented market.
Besides his role at Santander, Sullivan will remain Chairman of Femeda – a UK based company focused on development of medical devices to treat incontinence. Last year Femeda was one of the promising startups that received seed funding from Elixirr Capital, the consulting firm’s investment arm.