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Abanca signs the M&A head of Grant Thornton to create an investment bank


Abanca wants to position itself in the investment banking business and, for this, it is creating a specific team with the signing of Alfonso Ponce de León in front. The manager has joined the Galician bank two weeks ago from Grant Thornton, where he occupied this same role, and has more than 15 years of experience in entities such as Banco Espírito Santo or Banesto.

His position at Abanca is that of Director of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) and he is already considering names of professionals from other firms that accompany him in this division. According to sources close to the entity, It will cover the Spanish market through all its sectors and work in both domestic and cross-border corporate operations.

At the professional services firm Grant Thornton was responsible for M&A and Debt Counseling, where he has worked for the past three years. His name became known in the financial sector when he worked for Banesto between 2004 and 2008, where he was deputy director of Corporate Finance. He had previously gone through groups like Ernst & Young, Morgan Stanley (as an analyst in his private bank) or JPMorgan.

After Banesto, he pointed out in Espírito Santo Investment Bank (BESI) first as deputy director of Investment Banking and, later, as senior private banker, then being executive director in Haitong after the purchase of BESI by the Chinese group. In these years, he has worked in Madrid and the United States, in cities like Washington and San Francisco.

In his curriculum, Ponce de León highlights that He has participated in more than 50 del middle market ’operations Spanish, in sectors such as health, construction materials, wholesale distribution, retail consumption, TMT (technology, media and telecommunications) or transport, and states that it has a direct relationship with more than 500 Spanish companies. Abanca has not answered the questions of this medium.


The bank chaired by Juan Carlos Escotet is making a notable effort to grow in areas where it did not have a presence or is a minority, such as investment banking or private banking. Since the Venezuelan made his first investment in Spain (Banco Etcheverría, 2012), he has bought Novacaixagalicia (in the end, what is now Abanca), the personal and private banking of Deutsche Bank Portugal and Caixa Geral Spain.

In private banking, last summer he signed Javier Rivero from Credit Suisse as his new boss and, as Bolsamanía published, now Abanca negotiates with Tressis his possible acquisition while studying bidding again for Liberbank.

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