03 July 2024

“Our team is the engine driving business growth”

In a highly globalized sector such as investment banking, attracting the best talent is crucial for achieving excellence in client service and business success. Marian Navarro, Head of Talent & Culture and Business Support at BBVA Sustainability & CIB, emphasizes this point. Corporate and investment banking has become a significant area for BBVA in recent years due to its consistent growth, with the team being a key pillar of this success.

  • BBVA Corporate & Investment Banking achieved revenues of €4,804 million in 2023, an increase of 35% versus 2022. This performance is also explained by the double-digit growth of all the business units in the area. How do you see CIB at the moment?

The BBVA Corporate & Investment Banking business area is currently experiencing a really promising phase. We have just achieved excellent results in 2023, with a double-digit increase in all its business units and we have a very positive outlook for this year and the years to come.

The BBVA CIB team is the cornerstone of our success and our best asset. In 2024, we continue to grow in activity and results, successfully executing our strategy through three key levers: cross-border business, sustainability and innovation.

Our collective capabilities - as a team - enhance our individual talent to create impact. Our corporate culture and values – customer comes first, think big and working as one team –  make BBVA a unique place to work.

  • In this context of growth, what do you think are the keys, in terms of talent, for a successful development of the strategy?

The key to success is our strategy to attract and retain the best talent. We are a business of people serving people and it is essential to keep this in mind.

At BBVA CIB, we offer an ambitious and challenging business project, along with professional development opportunities in an inclusive environment. Additionally, our approach to work is based on flexibility and trust in people through a hybrid work model, that sets an example not only in the sector but also in the broader business environment.

Our corporate culture is also an essential aspect for attracting and retaining talent. As a team, we contribute and exercise our collective leadership leveraged on empowerment and autonomy. We encourage everyone in the organization to take initiative, lead her/his own projects and, along the way, innovate and take risks that help us achieve our goals. At BBVA CIB, everyone can see how their contributions align with BBVA's purpose of "creating opportunities", demonstrating the positive impact of our work.


  • Will all this ambition for business growth you mention involve a lot of focus on team development?

Absolutely. It is crucial that our professionals have exceptional skills to help us grow and adapt to a changing environment, full of opportunities.

To advise and assist our clients, each BBVA CIB's professional needs to stay current with trends and developments in the financial sector, especially enhancing their knowledge in fields such as sustainability, innovation and data.

To achieve this, we are making significant investments in sustainability-related training for the entire workforce, as well as specialized modules with a sectoral and technological perspective (e.g. the impact of hydrogen advancements in certain sectors). The Group is also integrating the adoption of new forms of data management, such as the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), into our training plans.

In addition to technical skills and knowledge, developing "soft skills" is essential as we progress in our professional careers. An example of this is our global leadership program, 'The Good Manager', which promotes high-performance professionals who act according to the Group's values and create opportunities for their teams. aiming to maximize their development and wellbeing.

  • In terms of attracting talent, where is the focus placed?

At BBVA CIB, with nearly 4,500 professionals across 25 countries, the challenge is ensuring we have the right capacity to successfully execute our strategy in this new cycle. For this reason, we need to bring the right talent to be even more global, specialized, diverse and innovative, thus allowing us to be closer and more relevant to our clients.

This involves a significant effort in talent mobility and team growth across multiple markets. Since team growth will occur in all the geographies where we are present, it represents a clear opportunity for international mobility and development of global profiles for our professionals.

  • And how do you value and manage diversity in BBVA CIB?

At BBVA, we firmly believe that diversity, in its many dimensions, brings great value. Diversity encompasses gender, ethnicity, age, thinking, abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity and more. We understanding that each person is unique, which drives divergent thinking and adds significant value to the team. Our goal is for BBVA CIB to be a reflection of the societies in which we are present.

In terms of gender, the CIB team is 40% female and 60% male. To progress in gender diversity, our primary focus is to develop and make female talent visible. As a result, we have specific programs to incorporate this talent such as our Female Graduate Training Program or the Women Trading Academy, implemented in Mexico, the United Kingdom and Spain, to promote professional development. Additionally, this year, around a hundred professionals from the BBVA CIB team have participated in mentoring programs to promote female talent.

To promote multiculturalism, we launch every year more than 150 international mobility experiences of up to 3 months, enabling us to have more global professionals and further unite the CIB teams located in different markets.

In summary, diversity, globality, specialization and innovation are key aspects we need to keep promoting to work toward our goal of being more relevant to our clients.

  • Global trends tell us about the importance for people of working in companies with a purpose, with a positive impact on society and the people who make it up. Do you see this aspect reflected in the environment in which BBVA operates?

Absolutely. The purpose of BBVA and the banking sector in general is not only financial but also social: we are crucial agents for economic development and financial inclusion in the markets where we operate. As a result, through funding and banking services, we create opportunities for individuals and businesses.

At BBVA CIB, we also contribute to this goal by committing to sustainability and close support to corporate clients, addressing their funding needs, transactional services, investment or advice.

Specifically, from 2018 to 2023, the BBVA Group has mobilized 206 billion euros in sustainable business and expects to reach 300 billion by 2025. To achieve this important target, mobilization in the corporate segment is key. This volume increased by 20% in 2023, thanks to proactive sector advice and support for clients transitioning to more sustainable models.