Caldwell Recruits CHRO for Santander Holdings 

July 19, 2021 – Jeremy Zeman and Krisha Otto of Caldwell recently placed Rosilyn Houston as the new chief human resources officer (CHRO) at Santander Holdings USA. “I am very pleased to welcome Rosilyn to Santander, and I am confident that the wealth of experience she has in HR strategy and branding, culture development and recruiting, developing and retaining talent in the financial services space will help us further elevate our employee experience and Santander’s employer brand,” said Santander chief executive Tim Wennes. “I look forward to partnering with Rosilyn as we continue to grow the U.S. business, work to be a best-in-class employer of choice, and advance Santander’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the organization.”

Ms. Houston joins the company from BBVA USA, where she served as U.S. head of talent and culture and was responsible for providing leadership in recruitment and staffing, compensation and benefits, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, corporate culture, workplace premises and services, internal communications, payroll administration, and compliance with all employment-related legal and governmental regulations and requirements. She began her banking career as a part-time teller while attending college and went on to hold various front-line and leadership positions for BBVA USA’s retail bank, including managing in North Texas, California, Alabama, and Florida. Ms. Houston has twice been named by American Banker as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking, was recognized by Black Enterprise as one of their 300 Most Powerful Corporate Executives in America.

In this role with Santander Holdings, Ms. Houston will oversee and provide strategic direction for the teams and programs within Santander US human resources, including HR service delivery, diversity, equity and inclusion, talent acquisition, learning and development, HR information systems, total rewards, HR business partners and employee relations.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Santander at such an exciting, pivotal time for the organization,” said Ms. Houston. “With tremendous opportunities for growth ahead, it’s critical that Santander has the right strategy for advancing its dynamic, ambitious, engaged and diverse workforce, while continuing to grow its rich culture. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead these important initiatives.”

Santander Holdings USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Madrid-based Banco Santander S.A., a global banking group with 149 million customers in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Santander US is recognized as a top 10 auto lender, a top 10 multifamily lender and a top 20 commercial real estate lender. It has a growing wealth management business with more than $50 billion in assets under management.

Veteran Recruiters

Caldwell’s global financial services practice serves clients in the areas of investment banking and capital markets, asset and wealth management, alternative investments, insurance, consumer financial services and real estate, as well as all shared services and functional capabilities across the financial services sector.

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Mr. Zeman is a partner in Caldwell’s financial services practice, based in Chicago. His financial services acumen includes working closely with C-suite, boards of directors and senior-level executives in commercial/consumer banking and finance, digital/fintech, cards/payments, GSEs, mortgage banking and private equity environments guiding talent solutions. With nearly 20 years of search experience, Mr. Zeman has completed assignments for line of business leadership and functional roles across strategy, marketing, communications, product, data/analytics, finance, risk, credit, audit, and operations. Additionally, he has a track record of digital and omni-channel buildouts for clients on the journey to becoming digitally evolved.

Ms. Otto is a consultant in Caldwell’s Chicago office and a member of the financial services practice. With more than 10 years of executive search experience, she focuses on the recruitment of senior leaders spanning a wide range of commercial and consumer financial services clients, including digital/fintech, card/payments and private equity environments. From senior director to the board level, Ms. Otto has placed executives in numerous roles both domestically and internationally. She has a particular passion around candidate assessment, creating a positive candidate experience and creating operational improvements to drive efficiencies in the recruiting process.

Related: Caldwell Assists CrossFirst Bank in CEO Search

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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