Santander names JPMorgan’s Ryan chairman of U.S. operations

NEW YORK – Banco Santander SA named JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s T. Timothy Ryan as the non-executive chairman of U.S. operations as Spain’s largest bank reshapes leadership.

Ryan, 69, was most recently vice chairman of regulatory affairs at JPMorgan and will lead the boards of Santander Holdings USA and Santander Bank NA, according to a statement today from Madrid-based Santander. He replaces Jerry Grundhofer, 70, who is retiring.

“I am honored to be chosen by the Santander Group and its U.S. holding company to chair the holding company and bank boards. I look forward to working with my new colleagues, shareholders and regulators,” Ryan said in a press release.

Santander Chairman Ana Botin has appointed new managers since she took over from her father Emilio in September. Botin, 54, named Jose Antonio Alvarez chief executive officer last week, replacing Javier Marin. Ryan was CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association trade group during the credit crisis and was director of the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision in the early 1990s.

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“His deep understanding of the local banking market, regulatory environment and financial services industry will be invaluable as we build our U.S. business,” Botin said in the statement.

He first joined JPMorgan in 1993 and became vice chairman of investment banking for financial institutions. He rejoined the largest U.S. lender last year.

Ryan worked at the largest U.S. bank through last month, according to his LinkedIn profile. Trish Wexler, a spokeswoman for for New York-based JPMorgan had no immediate comment.

Santander Bank NA has 703 branches in the U.S. Northeast. The U.S. operation, now based in Boston, expanded in 2009 with the purchase of Sovereign Bancorp Inc.

“My fellow directors, our management and our employees at Santander are truly exceptional. They are what I will miss most as I enter my planned retirement,” Grundhofer said in the release.