ABR 2017 | Ex-Director General de Banesto

Fernando Falero de Arrese, in memoriam

Autor: José Antonio Santos Arrarte    |    

On March 17th, 2017, after a large and strong fight against illness, our friend and advisor Fernando Falero de Arrese has passed away.

In personal life, he professed lots of affection and was a lover of his own, sympathetic to his neighbor and demanding himself to the degree of exquisiteness. He was a man of traditional judgment who maintained in the vicissitudes of modern life with honesty and fullness. Born the 5th of September 1943, his father Fernando Falero Láriz passed away when our friend started his studies in the rooms of the nascent Icade, where he studied Business Administration and Law at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid. His only sister was María Victoria Falero de Arrese.

In 1969 he married Luz Rato Salazar, the love of his life, who was the daughter of Faustino de Rato, and Rodríguez San Pedro. They had three kids, Iñigo, Alejando, and Fernando, which had given them 5 grandchildren at the moment. At their wedding, among the families, friends, and vibrant personalities, was his uncle José Luis de Arrese y Magra, his brother-in-law César de Carlos da Riva, along with the notary and academic Juan Berchmans Vallet de Goytisolo, who brought judicial representation.

In professional life, he was a man of judgment and action: He was knowledgeable of the laws that preserve structures and a sensitive promoter of his adaptation to the changing world to update his social function from respect for Christian humanism.

In 1965 he joined the Banco Ibérico and performed his duties as the director of the branches of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Sevilla. In º976 he joined Banco Coca and performed his duties as director of the branches of Oviedo and Bilbao until being named the general deputy director of resources in 1977. When Banco Coca was absorbed by Banco Español de Crédito, he was appointed head of the Control Center Unit for the integration of both banks.

In 1980 he was appointed head of zone in the Spanish Credit Bank, a position he exercised as always with brilliance and efficiency until 1984, in which he was appointed sole administrator of the newly acquired General Bank of Trade and Industry. In 1986 he was named general deputy director of the Banco Español de Crédito and in 1988 he was promoted to General director. In 1990 he was named executive vice president of the Banco de Madrid and president of Lease Banesto; in 1992 he became vice president and CEO of Banesto Leasing.

More than his activities in the Banco Español de Crédito, he was an advisor to the following societies: Banesto Gestión, S.A. (1988-1990), Banfenix Compañia de Seguros y Reaseguros, S.A. (1987-1990), Proyecto Europa, S.A. (1988-1991), Banesto Leasing Chile S.A. (Chile, 1991), Lefact Arrendadora S.A. de CV (Méjico, 1991-1995) and Totta Leasing (Portugal, 1991-1995).

The time of his professional activity in the Banco Español de Crédito coincided with a period of banking crises, which were spread from speculative banks, small or medium, to the largest and most conservative. It was a time of filies and phobias, with profound management changes, that began when vice president Gregorio López-Bravo de Castro died in February 1985 and ended with the acquisition of Banesto by the Banco de Santander in April 1994.

Despite this changing environment, each of the successive rectors kept Fernando among his main collaborators for his seriousness, charisma and worth, to which he corresponded without political difficulty for his loyalty to the Bank-institution, always above the banners. It is noteworthy the complexity and variety of the companies of the group (banking, insurance and financial) that were entrusted to him and in which he turned his action with very favorable results in all cases.

In 1996 and, despite the offer of continuity in the banking foreground, he considered that his Banesto no longer existed and decided to dedicate himself to his professional development of photography in order to publicize the discoveries of his passion as a traveler. He started this new activity at the age of 53, but moved with youthful enthusiasm to all corners of the earth, gathering a collection of more than 400,000 photographs and holding several exhibitions to show his work. With humanism always as a characteristic note, it makes the people he photographs, (their faces, sizes and clothing) key and reference to understand the outside world -landscapes and scenes- that it reflects.

When inquiring about his genuine strength and insight of ancient soul, we must evoke the maternal heritage of the Basque-Navarrese Arrese, or stone house in Castilian, with his noble, thorough and austere way of being. And also, the inheritance of his mythical predecessor Falero, who, according to Apollonius of Rhodes, was the first spear of Athens, and was encouraged by his father Alcon to go with Jason to be a great hero among the great and on return of his triumphal journey, he settles with simplicity again in his home; his contemporaries gave the name Falero Bay to that Athenian area. Several illustrious men have this area as their place of origin: Demetrius of Falero, philosopher and librarian (350BC); Fra Antonio Faliero de Negroponte, Renaissance painter (1455); and the brothers Andrés and Antonio Faleiro, merchants with agencies in Amsterdam, Hamburg and Venice, as well as correspondent bankers of the Tinoco (1616).

To all this and much more we must refer to in order to explain the personal synthesis that makes these qualities in each of his vital facets. It does not matter what order they put themselves in because they were all present at every stage of his life: he was noble, thorough and austere as a banker, manager, photographer (instead of painter), hero, traveler and philosopher. Thus, he became a different and valuable person; waiting for the eternal reunion, his memory endures in those who treated him. Rest in peace.

José Antonio Santos Arrarte.

Doctor en Economía y Presidente de Patrivalor, sociedad gestora de fondos