PARIS Outgoing Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) executive Jacques Ripoll is set to join Spain's Santander (SAN.MC) as head of its U.K. investment bank, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
After over three years helming the French bank's GIMS investment-management division, 47-year-old Ripoll said on Wednesday he was leaving SocGen to pursue other opportunities.
An announcement confirming his move to Santander is not expected before March or April but Ripoll - a 20-year SocGen veteran who is said to speak fluent Spanish - is first in line for the job, one of the people said.
"Ripoll is coming to Santander to head its investment-banking operations in London," he said.
A Santander spokesman declined to comment.
Ripoll spent about five years working in SocGen's equities division, first in equity derivatives and then as global head of European equity sales and trading, before he rose through the ranks to oversee the group's strategy in the late 2000s. He has headed the GIMS unit since 2009.
"(Ripoll) speaks fluent Spanish, which helped convince (Santander Chairman Emilio) Botin," another person said.
The head of Santander in the U.K. is Ana Patricia Botin, daughter of the chairman.
(Additional reporting by Matt Scuffham in London)