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Banca March - Crecemos con valores, crecemos juntosNews

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Banca March Chairman Juan March de la Lastra participates in 12th Family Business Forum by the Basque Country Chambers of Commerce

  • Juan March de la Lastra delivered a presentation entitled 100 years of a financial family business.
  • He also took part in a round table discussing the lessons to be learned from hundred-year-old family businesses, alongside Rafael Erhardt, Vice Chairman of the Erhardt Group, Gonzalo Urrestarazu, Manager of Arrese Bizkaia, and Félix Lascaray, CEO of Lascaray.

Bilbao, 4 December 2019. Juan March de la Lastra, the Chairman of Banca March, has taken part in the 12th Family Business Forum by the Basque Chambers of Commerce, which focused this year on the keys to longevity for family businesses.

In his presentation, the Chairman of Banca March, who forms part of the fourth generation of the only 100% family-owned bank in the Spanish financial system, outlined the bank's inimitable business model, which is intended to position Banca March as the bank of choice for family businesses and entrepreneurial families in Spain. “Banca March, founded in 1926 in Palma de Mallorca, specialises in family businesses, entrepreneurial families and professionals, and its banking activity is underpinned by a robust balance sheet, unique products and excellent advisory services," explained Juan March de la Lastra.

José Ángel Corres, Chairman of CÁMARABILBAO, emphasised that “at the current time of political uncertainty and amidst signs of an economic slowdown, family business continuity is a key factor in terms of both development and competitiveness. With this in mind, professionalising family businesses can provide critical support for both survival and profitability”. Mr Corres also praised the values of family businesses in the Basque Country, which he said “always have  a positive attitude, are ambitious in business and proactive to generate progress, and set priorities to achieve their goals in terms of business performance and job creation. These are values which should be praised and publicly recognised at all levels.”

Alejandro Beitia, Chairman of the Basque Chambers of Commerce Family Business Forum – Eusko Ganberak, spoke about the continuity of family businesses. He explained that “there is no magic formula and no single explanation for survival, but some of the key reasons tend to be responsible management, anticipation of family/business problems, the ability to adapt, constant innovation and of course, the application of values like persistence, effort and dedication both within the family itself and in the immediate business environment.”

He highlighted two major challenges that must be tackled to position family businesses in the Basque Country as leaders in both Spain and Europe. “The first is linked to transition and succession; businesses need to evolve towards a model that allows for the family nature of the business to remain intact without sacrificing innovation and expansion. The second is to design a business model that accurately reflects the scale of business activity, adapting to automation and digitalisation processes.

At a subsequent round table, the Chairman of Banca March discussed experiences and lessons learned in relation to hundred-year-old family businesses with Rafael Erhardt, Vice Chairman of the Erhardt group, Gonzalo Urrestarazu, Manager of Arrese Bizkaia and Félix Lascaray, CEO of Lascaray.

The speakers discussed issues such as the challenges involved in transitioning family businesses and the factors that allow these companies to stand the test of time, such as responsible management, the anticipation of family/business problems, the ability to adapt and constant innovation.

The Banca March Basque Country Advisory Board

Banca March began operating in the Basque Country in 2012, and since then it has further strengthened its ties with the market. The bank shares a strong affinity with the Basque market, reflected in the entrepreneurial spirit, prudent management and long-term approach that have always been the hallmark of Basque business leaders, family businesses and entrepreneurial families. Back in November, the bank opened a new business hub at number 8, Plaza Federico Moyúa in Bilbao, which is now home to its three main business areas: Wealth Management, Retail and Private Banking and Corporate Banking.

In early 2018, Banca March's commitment to the Basque Country motivated it to create the Basque Country Advisory Board, which is comprised of renowned professionals with strong track records and great prestige in the business, social and cultural arenas. The members of the Advisory Board - in addition to Banca March Chairman Juan March de la Lastra and CEO José Luis Acea - are Jorge Bergareche, former Chairman of Consulnor and former Banca March Director; Mariano Úcar, Chairman of Faes Farma; Antonio Barandiarán, Chairman of the Santa y Real Casa de Misericordia de Bilbao; Álvaro Videgain, Chairman of Tubacex; and Miguel Zugaza, Director of the Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao and former Director of the Museo del Prado.

The bank's close ties with the Basque Country business landscape are further reflected in its investment in innovative companies such as Euskaltel, CIE Automotive and Dominion, in which the Group holds stakes of 11%, 10.2% and 5% respectively through Corporación Financiera Alba (CFA).

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