Our Top Management

Board Independence Statement

We have 11 board members including 2 alternate directors.

According to the criteria defined by the Chilean legislature, out of the 11 directors, 7 are independent See here for more details. If considering the Dow Jones Corporate Sustainability Assessment criteria for Board independence, all 11 Board members qualify as independent.

Other positions of note: Among the 11 members of Banco Santander Chile's board of directors, six of them have mandates on other boards of companies listed on the Stock Exchange either in Chile or abroad: Rodrigo Vergara with two other mandates, María Recart with four other mandates, Félix de Vicente with three other mandates, Ana de Dorrego, Blanca Bustamante and Rodrigo Echeñique with each one mandate besides Santander Chile.

Our Directors

Claudio Melandri
Chairman of the Board
Claudio Melandri1.jpg

Claudio Melandri became the Executive Chairman on March 1, 2018. He is also President of Santander Chile Holding S.A. and Vice President of Universia Chile S.A. He has more than 30 years of experience in the financial industry and was Chief Executive Officer of Santander Chile from January 2010 to March 2018. He started his career in Banco Concepción and in 1990 became part of Santander Group, where he has held various positions of responsibility, including Regional Manager of the branch network, Human resources Manager and Commercial Banking Manager. He was also Vice President at Banco Santander Venezuela for three years in the commercial area of this country. Mr. Melandri has a Business Degree and an Accounting degree and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Adolfo Ibañez University

Rodrigo Vergara
Rodrigo Vergara became a director and First Vice President of the Board on July 12, 2018. He is a tenured professor of the Institute of Economy in Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and senior economist in the Public Studies Centre. He was President of the Central Bank of Chile between 2011 and 2016. In 2012 he was chosen Economist of the Year by the national newspaper El Mercurio and a year later was nominated by the magazine Global Finance as one of the top five best presidents of central banks and number one in America. In 2013, he received the Business Award from the Economic and Administrative Sciences Faculty Foundation of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. In May 2018, Mr. Vergara was hired as an associate researcher in Harvard’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government. He has a Business Degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and a Doctorate Degree in Economy from Harvard University.
Orlando Poblete Iturrate
Orlando Poblete Iturrate is the Second Vice President and has served on the Board since April 25, 2015. Since 1991 Mr. Poblete has been a professor at the Universidad Los Andes. Between 1997 and 2004, he was Dean of the Law School and since 2014 he has been Chancellor of the university. He is also a partner at the law firm Orlando Poblete & Company. He is a member of the Counsel of the Arbitrition and Mediation of Santiago of the Chamber of Commerce of Santiago. Previously, between 1979 and 1991 he was a professor of Procedural Law at the Universidad de Chile. Mr. Poblete is a lawyer from the University of Chile and has a Masters from the same university. He also graduated from the Directive Management of Companies Program (PADE) of ESE Business School of the Universidad de los Andes.
Lucia Santa Cruz Sutil
Lucía Santa Cruz Sutil became a Director on August 19, 2003. She is a Member of the Board of the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez. She is Vice President of the Board of Compañía de Seguros Generales y de Vida La Chilena Consolidada (Zurich). She is also a member of the Self-Regulation Committee for Insurance Companies in Chile. Ms. Santa Cruz is a historian and holds a Masters in Philosophy from Oxford University and holds a Doctor Honoris Causa in social sciences from King’s College, University of London.
Ana Dorrego
Ana Dorrego
Ana Dorrego became a Director in March 2016. She has been working at the Santander Group in the Financial Planning and Corporate Development department for the last 11 years, coordinating the Group planning processes. In this role, she has also been involved in following up on the different Santander Group units and projects. She is a board member of Santander Securities Services, S.A. She has also participated in acquisition, sales and integration projects during her time with the Group (ABN, SEB, US, Banesto, Spanish Cajas and Banif Portugal among others) and spent two years as e-business development director for the Santander Group. Prior to joining the Santander Group, she was a corporate clients relationship manager and commercial director of transactional banking at Bankinter. Ms. Dorrego holds a degree in Business Administration from the University Pontificia de Comillas ICAI-ICADE, a degree in General Management from IESE and Master’s degrees in Business Administration from Deusto University – Bilbao, Spain, and Adolfo Ibañez, Miami/Chile.
Rodrigo Echenique
Rodrigo Echenique

Rodrigo Echeñique became a Director in March 2019. He has been part of the Santander Group Board of Directors since 1988. From 1973 to 1976 he held several positions in the Spanish Public Administration (General Secretary of the Post and Telecommunications Office, Technical Advisor in the Office of the Spanish Prime Minister and other positions in the Spanish Tax Authority offices in Pontevedra and Madrid). Mr. Echenique served as chief executive officer of Banco Santander, S.A. from 1988 to 1994. He served on the boards of several industrial and financial companies such as Ebro Azúcares y Alcoholes, S.A. and Industrias Agrícolas, S.A. and chaired the advisory board of Accenture, S.A. Mr Echenique was also a non-executive chairman of NH Hotels Group, S.A., Vocento, S.A., Vallehermoso, S.A. and Merlin Properties, SOCIMI, S.A. He has also been non-executive chairman of Banco Popular Español, S.A. He currently is non-executive director at Inditex. Mr. Echeñique has a graduate degree in Law and State Attorney from Universidad Complutense in Madrid and serves as chairman of the board of trustees and the executive committee of the Banco Santander Foundation.

Félix de Vicente Mingo
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José Félix de Vicente Mingo became a director on March 27, 2018. He has a commercial engineering degree with a mention in Economics from the Universidad de Chile. Between 2013 and 2014 he was Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism. Before this, he was a director of ProChile, the institution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that promotes Chilean exports, His first position was in a fruit export company of the O’Higgins region and then the Manager of Administration and Finance of Telemercados Europa, as well as being president and partner of various companies in Chile and abroad. He has received the following distinctions: “Public Man of the Year for the Wine Industry (2011)”, “Man of the Salmon Industry (2012)”, “Member of the Circle of Honor of the University of Chile (2013)”, “Man of the Year for the Association of Software Companies (2012)” and “Public man of Engineering Consulting Companies (2013)”. In 1999 he was nominated for “Businessman of the year” in the Junior category for the Universidad de Desarrollo.
Blanca Bustamante Bravo
Blanca Bustamante Bravo became an Alternate Director on April 28, 2015. She is also a member of the Human Resources Committee. In 1998, she joined Viña Concha y Toro as Head of Investor Relations with the responsibility to present business strategy and achievements of the company to the financial community, a position held until 2010. In parallel, in May 2001, she became Assistant Manager of Corporate Communications. In 2011, she became responsible for relations with the community in order to focus the efforts of the company in projects that create value for the community and the environment in which it operates. Since 2013, she is a director in the Center for Research & Innovation for Concha y Toro which focus is to develop technology and knowledge transfer to the industry. She holds a degree in business from Universidad Católica de Chile.
María Olivia Recart
María Olivia Recart

María Olivia Recart became a director on March 28, 2023. She is a commercial Engineer with a major in Economics from the University of Concepción and a Master of Arts in Economics from Georgetown. She has more than 25 years of experience in public policies, R&D, senior management of companies and non-profit organizations. She spent 16 years at Fundación Chile, and then served as undersecretary in the Ministry of Finance (2006-2010). At the end of 2010, she assumed as vice president of corporate affairs for the region of the Americas of the Australian mining company BHP and between 2019 and 2023 she was National Chancellor of the Santo Tomás University (UST). She is member of the Women’s Community Council, director of CAP and Aclara.

Alfonso Gomez Morales
Alternate Director
Alfonso Gómez has a Civil Engineering degrees from the Universidad Católica de Chile, Ph.D. of the Royal College of Art of London and the executive president of the Innovation Center UC Anacleto Angelini. He started his career in the Industrial and System Engineering Department of Universidad Católica de Chile. He was founder of various companies, such as Apple Chile, Unlimited and Virtualia, the first social network developed in Latin America. He has been director for numerous companies and institutions such as the National Director of the National Council of Culture and the Arts and Director of Fundación País Digital, and he was also Director of the National Council of Innovation. He was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and later Dean of the Business School of the Adolfo Ibáñez University.
Juan Pedro Santa María Pérez
Alternate Director
Juan Pedro Santa María Pérez became a Director on July 24, 2012 after having served as Corporate Legal Director for Grupo Santander Chile and Legal Counsel for Santander-Chile. Mr. Santa María is President of the Analysis and Resolution Committee and First Vice President of the Integral Risk Committee. Mr. Santa María joined Santander-Chile in 2002, after the merger with Banco Santiago. Previous to that he was Legal Counsel for Banco Santiago and Banco O’Higgins. He has also been President of the Legal Committee of the Asociación de Bancos e Instituciones Financieras de Chile for over 20 years and President Pro-Tempore of the Financial Law Committee of the Federación Latinoamericana de Bancos (FELABAN). Mr. Santa María holds a degree in Law from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Committee membership

Below is a summary of our committee structure and membership information. To read more about any of the committees, click on committee names in the chart below.

Retributions Committee Directors & Audit Committee Asset & Liability & Market Committee Integral Risk Committee Appointment Committee
Claudio Melandri Retributions Committee Asset & Liability Committee Risk Committee Appointment Committee
Rodrigo Vergara Director & Audit Committee Asset & Liability Committee Appointment Committee
Orlando Poblete Iturrate Retributions Committee Director & Audit Committee
Lucia Santa Cruz Sutil Risk Committee
Félix de Vicente Mingo Director & Audit Committee Asset & Liability Committee Risk Committee
Ana Dorrego
Rodrigo Echenique
Blanca Bustamante Bravo Risk Committee Appointment Committee
Juan Pedro Santa María Pérez Director & Audit Committee Risk Committee
Alfonso Gomez Morales Retributions Committee Asset & Liability Committee Risk Committee
María Olivia Recart Asset & Liability Committee Risk Committee
= Chairperson = Member = Chairman of the Board = Financial Expert = Vice-Chair of the Board

Retributions Committee

Constant review of the policy documentation regarding the evaluation and remuneration of positions defined as “key positions”, as well as other members of the organization.

Directors & Audit Committee

To oversee the financial statements elaboration process of the Bank as well as the corresponding management of internal and external auditors, in order to provide adequate and accurate information for shareholders, investors and the general public

Asset & Liability & Market Committee

Be aware of and approve, as the case may be, the risks and positions taken and managed by the financial management area of the Bank and its subsidiaries in Chile. Also, this committee exposes and analyzes the main economic and risk factors that directly impact the results of the trading portfolios.

Integral Risk Committee

To propose the risk framework and the general policies necessary for the definition of the Bank’s risk appetite, and to supervise the correct identification, measurement and control of all risks faced by the company.

Appointment Committee

Constant review and implementation of policies and processes for the appointment of positions defined as key positions, along with the revision and with regard to other members of the organization.

Senior Management

Organization Structure

Román Blanco
Chief Executive Officer

Román Blanco became the Country Head and Chief Executive Officer of the bank in August 2022. Román has 18 years of experience in the Group, which he joined in 2004 as Vice President of Banco Santander Banespa in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he was assigned the task of strengthening the Group’s presence in this market. In 2007, he was appointed president and CEO of Santander in Colombia, whose strategy led to significant value creation for Santander in that country. In 2012, he assumed the same responsibilities in Puerto Rico, and later was appointed as the CEO of Santander Bank, NA and Santander Holdings in Boston, United States. He was currently responsible for the Santander Group's operations in the Andean region and Uruguay. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Santander Uruguay, Santander Peru and Santander Colombia.

Pedro Orellana
Director of Retail Banking
Pedro Orellana became Manager of Retail Banking in April 2021. He has been part of the Santander Group for 25 years. He began his career in the Bank in 1995, where he has had various responsibilities, including Manager of the segments of Individuals and SMEs. He was also Executive Vice-president of Retail Banking in Colombia and then Head of Retail Banking of the Americas Division in Madrid. Mr. Orellana holds a degree in Engineering from Universidad de Chile and a CFI from Stanford.
Andrés Trautmann
Director of Corporate and Investment Banking
Andrés Trautmann became Manager of the Corporate and Investment Banking segment since May 2021. He is also Head of Markets in Chile, after arriving in Chile in 2018. He was part of Goldman Sachs in New York, where he spent five years managing Emerging Market Sales. Before that, Mr. Trautmann was over six years in Santander, both in London and Chile.
Luis Araya
Director of Middle-Market
Luis Araya became Manager of our Middle-Market segment since May 2021. He has various responsibilities in different divisions throughout the 24 years he has worked within the Bank. Before becoming manager of this segment, he was Manager of the Santander branch network for four years and the Manager of Human Resources for the Individuals Division for two years. Before that, he was part of the Commercial Division as the Manager of Products, Investments and the Individuals segment. He also worked for Santander Corporate and Investment Banking for nine years. Luis Araya holds a degree in Engineering and has a Master of Science Degree, both from Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile.
Emiliano Muratore
Chief Financial Officer
Emiliano Muratore has more than 20 years of international banking experience. He became Chief Financial Officer for Santander-Chile in April 2016. Before becoming CFO, he spent eight years as the head of the ALM division. Prior to joining Santander Chile in 2006, Mr. Muratore worked at Santander’s headquarters in Madrid for 4 years and, before that, at Santander’s unit in Argentina for 4 years. He is also a member of the board at Fundación Belén Educa. Mr. Muratore has a degree in business from Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires and a postgraduate degree in finance from Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires. In 2018 he completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Currently, he is chairman of the Finance Committee at Chile’s Banking Association.
Guillermo Sabater
Financial Controller
Guillermo Sabater is the Financial Controller of Santander-Chile and has been working for Santander Spain and its affiliates for 23 years. Between 2009 and 2015, he was Executive Vice President of Santander in the US and CFO and Controller of Sovereign Bank and Santander Holdings USA. Before that, he was the financial controller of Banco Santander Chile, between 2006 and 2009. He also served for three years, between 2003 and 2006, as controller of the Consumer Finance Division in Madrid, Spain. Mr. Sabater also served as an internal auditor during his first ten years at the company. He has a degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University College of Financial Studies at the University Complutense de Madrid and completed a Program in Executive Development at the Institute of Business and has completed various courses at institutions such as Babson College and Boston University.
Franco Rizza
Director of Risk
Franco Rizza became Manager of Risk in February 2014. Previously, he was director of Global Collections & Recoveries in the Madrid headquarters, covering all countries where the Group has commercial banking activities outside Spain. Between 2010 and 2013, he was the Chief Risk Officer of Banco Santander in Uruguay. He joined the Group in 1989 in Argentina, where he held various positions, including Regional Manager, Product Manager and Retail Credit Risk Manager. He is also a Director of Santander Consumer Chile S.A.. He has completed studies in Business and Risk Management in Argentina and Spain.
Paula Meléndez Cubillos
Director of Human Resources
Paula Meléndez became the Director of Human Resources in June 2023. She has extensive experience in the financial sector, both in financial operational areas and in human resources. She has been part of Grupo Santander since 2004 leading, among others, the People and Culture Management, Organizational Development, Change Management and Financial Operations Control teams. She is an auditor/ accountant and engineer in Information and Management Control from the University of Chile and a Master's in Financial Management from the Adolfo Ibáñez University.
Ricardo Bartel
Director of Technology and Operations
Ricardo Bartel became the Manager of Technology and Operation in June 2015 after joining Santander Chile in October 2014 as Manager of Operational Services of the same division. Mr. Bartel has both a Civil Engineering degree and a Master of Business Administration from Universidad Católica de Chile. He has previously held various management positions in product and service companies such as Chief Financial Officer at Madeco, Logistics and Distribution Manager and Chief Financial Officer of CCU SA. and Chief Executive Officer of Empresas Relsa S.A. and Laboratorio Mayer.
Sergio Avila
Director of Administration and Projects

He has been part of Grupo Santander since 1996, having led the teams of Investment Funds, Structured Financing, Personal Banking, Personal Products, Company Products and Retail Risks, Costs and Suppliers. Mr. Avila has a Civil Engineering degree with specialization in Electricity and and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the Universidad Católica de Chile.

Claudia Heimpell
Director of Clients’ and Service Quality

She joined Santander Chile in November 2022. She has held various positions within the organization, including Select and High Income Segment Manager, Medium and Mass Income Manager, Commercial Assistant Manager in the Mortgage Area, and Marketing and Complementary Channels Manager at Banefe. Between 2018 and 2022 she was at Scotiabank, where she was responsible for the Retail, Data Analytics and VP of Distribution segments. Ms. Heimpell is a Business Engineer from Finis Terrae University, AMP from Universidad de los Andes and IESE Business School-Universidad de Navarra and holds a Diploma in Strategic Leadership from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Cristian Florence
General Counsel

Cristian Florence is our General Counsel, a position he has held since September 2012. Prior to that he served as Chief Lawyer at Santander-Chile. Mr. Florence joined Santander-Chile in 2002 when Santander-Chile merged with Banco Santiago. He started working in the banking industry in 1991, when he joined Centrobanco, a predecessor of Banco O’Higgins and Banco Santiago serving at several positions in the law departments. Mr. Florence is also a Director of Zurich Santander Seguros Generales Chile S.A., Zurich Santander Seguros de Vida Chile S.A. and Santander Asset Management S.A. Administradora General de Fondos. He has a degree in Law from the Universidad Gabriela Mistral and a Master of Laws (LLM) from the same university and is a professor of Civil Law.

Oscar Gómez
Director of Internal Audit

Oscar Gómez is Director of Internal Audit a position he has held since January 2020. He has worked for Grupo Santander since 1997 in different positions in the Internal Audit Division, including the Corporate Director for Financial Risk Information. Mr. Gómez has a degree in Economic and Business Science from Universidad de Cantabria and is certified by the IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors) as CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) and CRMA (Certification in Risk Management Assurance), additionally, he has completed post graduate studies in Instituto de Empresa (Spain) and INSEAD (France).

Jorge Valencia
Director of Wealth Management and Insurance (WM&I)

Jorge Valencia became the Director of Wealth Management and Insurance (WM&I) in November 2021. He joined the Group in 2016 at SCIB as head of Global Markets and was later in charge of Banking and Corporate Finance. During his more than 25-year career, he has held various positions of responsibility at JPMorgan, Platinum Grove Asset Management, RBS and AFP Habitat. Jorge is an Economist from the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile and Master of Arts in Corporate Communications from the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez.

Fernando Larraín Aninat
Director of Communications, Marketing and Research

Fernando Larraín became Director of Communications, Marketing and Studies in June 2023. During his career he has served as a government advisor in different ministries and countries and has been a consultant to multilateral organizations, a business advisor, an academic, and a manager at universities and trade associations. Between 2016 and 2020 he was general manager of the Association of Pension Fund Administrators. Subsequently, he served as a consultant to the World Bank, non-resident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council, Director of the International Center for Pension Administration and member of the board of directors of Fundaciones.

He is a business engineer with a major in economics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and a Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University.

Soledad Ramirez
Director of Sustainable Finance & Climate Change

She joined Santander Chile in August 2019 as head of Collaboration Revenue in the Corporate Banking division. She has focused much of her career on creating and executing corporate finance transactions, effective risk management, and portfolio performance.

Between 2002 and 2018, she was part of Scotiabank, holding multiple positions within corporate banking, before being transferred to Canada as director of the risk area, having adjudication roles for corporate banking and later designing policies for retail banking. She is a commercial engineer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She has more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry, related to roles within corporate and investment banking, credit risk management and strategy.

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