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Marta Álvarez concentrates the executive and shareholding control of El Corte Inglés in one year | Companies

The abrupt departure of Victor del Pozo of El Corte Inglésafter five years in office and after leading the strategic shift of the department store group, including a new five-year business plan, consolidates the figure of Martha Alvarez as the great visible head of the company and not only at an institutional level, as it seemed when he became president in June 2019.

In the absence of a CEO, and with the appointment of two general directors without a presence on the board of directors, Álvarez has come to concentrate the executive power of El Corte Inglés, just 11 months after reinforcing his role at the shareholder level.

It was through her appointment as president of the board of trustees of the Ramón Areces Foundation, the first shareholder of The English Court with 40.07% of the capital, after Mutua Madrileña entered it.

A movement that fixed an anomaly, as it was that the president of the distribution group was not also the president of its first shareholder. Between 2014 and 2021, that last role fell to the historic counselor Florencio Lasaga, and not to Dimas Gimeno or Jesús Nuño de la Rosa, presidents prior to Álvarez.

But in addition to resolving that historical exception, the appointment sends a message of unity between the management and its shareholders, after a few years of turbulence in the noble floor of El Corte Inglés.

Shareholder weight

To this control of the Ramón Areces Foundation in which, in which his sister Cristina Álvarez also appears as vice-president, we must add that both are the owners of nearly 90% of the IASA Securities Portfolio, the second shareholder of El Corte Inglés with 18.4% of the capital. A patrimonial society in which César Álvarez, brother of Isidoro Álvarez, is also present.

He has remained in IASA, unlike his sister, María Antonia Álvarez, and her son, former president Dimas Gimeno, who sold their 22.18% stake in the company for a total of 145 million, putting the final touch to the conflict that They starred four years ago for power in El Corte Inglés. Something that also occurred in April 2021, so that the last year has only reinforced the command of Marta Álvarez in El Corte Inglés and its shareholders.

Whether as president of the Ramón Areces Foundation, or as a shareholder through IASA, she controls more than 58% of the group’s capital.

Now, she will have to lead the management of the company, as president of the delegated executive committee created by the board of directors. In it she will be surrounded by four executives with knowledge in the banking, real estate and also retail sectors, without forgetting the financial markets, before a hypothetical IPO in the coming years.

In search of stability in the presidency

three presidents. The growing power that Marta Álvarez has been concentrating in recent months seems to guarantee stability in El Corte Inglés, at least in her presidency. Since Isidoro Álvarez died in 2014, up to three presidents have succeeded each other in the post, the same number as in the previous 84 years. Dimas Gimeno, between 2014 and 2018; Jesús Nuño de la Rosa, between 2018 and 2019, and Marta Álvarez from then until now.

Experience. When she was appointed president, she stood out from Marta Álvarez her journey within El Corte Inglés for more than 20 years, in the store, in the shopping area or in the travel agency.

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