Spain's multinational banking group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, mostly known by its initials BBVA, appointed 44-year-old Turkish banker Onur Genç as the new CEO, according to a statement issued Wednesday.
Genç, who is currently the CEO of BBVA Compass and U.S. Country Manager for BBVA, is expected to take over from former CEO Carlos Torres Vila on Dec.31.
BBVA is the principle shareholder of Turkey's third largest private lender Garanti Bank.
Speaking in an interview published by the BBVA Communication Office, Genç said: "I'm very much excited about being a part of the BBVA's transition process," adding that both his personal and international experience is a natural reflection of BBVA Group's globalization.
"We are global and me being appointed as a CEO is a clear indication of that," Genç said.
Stressing that one of the main problems in the banking sector is to meet the ever-changing demands of customers in the digital era, Genç added that the BBVA "has a vision that started the transformation earlier than the others."
Speaking of the importance of technology on the development of banking, Genç said that Spain and Turkey's mobile banking applications for smartphones are the best in the world.
The new appointment is expected to pave the way for the BBVA to develop more strategies on digital banking.
Genç's predecessor Torres Vila, who will replace Francisco Gonzales as the next Group Executive Chairman, said in a statement published by the bank's website that Genç had shown his positive impact in operations in the U.S. and Turkey and will now extend this contribution to all BBVA operations worldwide.
He said the bank's board has chosen Genç "as he is the ideal CEO to continue pushing forward our strategy and boosting our transformation throughout all our franchises generating value for all stakeholders: shareholders, employees, customers and the overall society."
Genç joined Garanti Bank in 2012 as vice executive chairman for personal banking. Later in 2015, he was appointed as deputy general manager of Garanti Bank. In 2017, he was appointed to his current position as the CEO of BBVA Compass and country manager for BBVA U.S.
Before joining the Garanti Bank, Genç worked for the U.S.-based consultation firm McKinsey for 13 years.
The father-of-two said that his first challenges would be looking for a home for his family to settle in Madrid and finding a school for his children, in addition to improving his Spanish.
Turkey is the fourth largest market for the BBVA, although after the Turkish lira's depreciation against the U.S. dollar and euro during the summer, the bank's net profit in Turkey decreased by 40.7 percent in the third quarter. The net profit in the U.S., on the other hand, has increased by 29 percent.