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BBVA names Houston-based executive as new group CEO

November 29, 2018

Spanish banking giant BBVA announced that it has appointed Onur Genç, its Houston-based chief executive and U.S. country manager, as group CEO.

Genç replaces Carlos Torres Vila, who was recently named chairman of the company. The bank said that the move will be made final on Dec. 31 and that Genç would in the meantime oversee both roles until a replacement for his current job is named.

Genç was appointed to the U.S. chief executive role in January 2017. He was previously deputy CEO of Garanti Bank based in Turkey. BBVA Group, the Spain-based parent company of BBVA Compass, owns nearly 40 percent of Garanti. Previously, he spent 13 years at McKinsey & Co. as a financial consultant living in four countries, and at age 34 was the youngest senior partner and office director at the firm.

“With his international background, Genç is proof that BBVA continues to focus on its designation as a global financial institution,” BBVA said in a statement. “His success in both the U.S. and Turkey portends the continued success of the BBVA Group under the leadership of Carlos Torres Vila as chairman and Genç as CEO.”

During his tenure in Houston, Genç worked to expand the U.S. bank’s commercial and corporate banking franchise, and to better use its digital capabilities in areas such as direct consumer lending and sales.

Spain-based BBVA Group entered the U.S. banking market in 2004 when it bought Los Angeles-based Valley Bank for $16.7 million. Early Texas purchases included Laredo National Bank, completed in 2005, followed by Texas State Bank and State National Bank. The $9.1 billion purchase of Compass Bancshares in 2007 gave BBVA Group a large Sun Belt footprint.

BBVA Compass has developed a formidable Houston-area presence, with about 1,300 local employees and 77 branches.

john.roper@chron.com

twitter.com/jcroper80

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