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Press release

CaixaBank gathers leading executives in Singapore to take part in a “Diversity Talks” session on the management of international and offsite teams

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“Diversity Talks” international debates programme in Singapore

• CaixaBank has been operating in Singapore since 2011. In Asia, the company has a total of seven representative offices.

• In the third quarter 2018, CaixaBank arranged nearly 24% of all export documentary letters of credit between Southeast Asia and Spain, and it successfully arranged more than 30% of all guarantees issued from Spain to that region.

• Since its inception in October 2017, the “Diversity Talks” programme has been held twice in Asia, following the recent event in Shanghai.

CaixaBank has just held the tenth edition of its “Diversity Talks” international debates programme in Singapore, focusing this time around on the management of multicultural and offsite teams. At the event, the Bank brought together leading executives from the region to discuss the importance of multiculturalism and internationalisation when managing teams.

The event, which was held for the first time in Singapore, boasted the attendance of renowned experts from the country's government and business world. It featured a round table on the management of international and multicultural teams, moderated by Anjaney Borwankar, adviser of the IESE Business School for Southeast Asia and India and co-founder of Navozyme. Taking part in the debates were Shoon Yin Lim, senior manager of Global Diversity & Inclusion, International Strategic Partnerships and Employee Resource Groups at Microsoft; Dwight Hutchins, Asia Pacific Executive Director of Accenture and chairman of the American Chamber of Trade in Singapore; Jamie Lim, CEO of Scanteak; and Gonzalo Ruiz, Corporate Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at Siemens.  

José María Blasco, economic and commercial director of the Economic and Trade Office of Spain in Singapore, gave the welcoming address, while María Victoria Matia, executive director of International Banking at CaixaBank, delivered the closing remarks.

Shoon Yin Lim said: “Inclusion is the magic sauce that empowers every person and every organization in our diverse world to achieve more. And it begins with an “I”. I commit to listening carefully to the person speaking until they feel understood. What is your commitment?””.

Meanwhile, Dwight Hutchins argued that “if we can only extract high performance from a subset of our talent, then we will fall behind those have the management skills to get results from more of their people… and the leaders who win are the ones who can….”

In a similar vein, Jamie Lim pointed out that “In the global village we live in today, embracing diversity is no longer a preference but a necessity.” Meanwhile, Gonzalo Ruiz called on everyone “to build bridges rather than walls”.

CaixaBank launched its “Diversity Talks” international debates programme in October 2017 in a bid to stimulate reflection on diversity and business management. The Bank has now held events in Istanbul, Warsaw, Dubai, Johannesburg, Milan, New York, Casablanca, Shanghai and Lima, where it has brought together renowned experts, economic leaders and employees to analyse the various dimensions of diversity within the financial sector and in relation to business management.

CaixaBank in Singapore

CaixaBank has been present in Asia since 2006 and currently has seven representative offices on this continent: in Dubai, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore and Istanbul –at the crossroads of Asia and Europe-.  

In Singapore, the Bank set up its representative office in 2011, from which it provides support to Spanish companies that have business ties with the region and also companies based in the country that deal with Spain.

In the third quarter, CaixaBank arranged nearly 24% of all export documentary letters of credit between Southeast Asia and Spain, and it successfully arranged more than 30% of all guarantees issued from Spain to that region, according to Swift Watch figures.

In 2017, Spanish exports of goods to Singapore totalled 586 million euros, revealing growth of 6.4%, while Spanish imports came to 325.6 million euros, down 1.4%, according to ICEX data. The main exports include plastics and articles thereof, electric devices and material, mechanical machinery and equipment, essential oils, perfumery, fuels and mineral oils, automobiles and articles of clothing. Meanwhile, the main imports are organic chemical products, mechanical machinery and apparatus, pharmaceutical products, optical devices, and electrical equipment and materials.

Diversity, key for CaixaBank

CaixaBank is a pioneering company when it comes to managing diversity in Europe. Its specialised team coordinates transversal projects across the entire organisation that embrace numerous facets: cultural diversity, gender diversity, functional diversity and generational diversity. Diversity is also one of the main levers of its Socially Responsible Banking plan.

At CaixaBank, diversity not only provides an excellent vision of human resources but is also a key part of the business model. CaixaBank's international network is highly adept at providing advice to Spanish companies that do business outside Spain and that therefore require expert knowledge of not only international banking but also cultural diversity. More to the point, no less than 21 different nationalities are represented on CaixaBank's international banking team.

The company has multicultural teams of different origins, who undertake projects to ensure the utmost proximity and to meet the specific needs of each region.

Gender diversity is another hugely important issue: across CaixaBank's international network, women account for 42% of all international managerial positions.

CaixaBank's international presence

CaixaBank now has an international network comprising 24 operating branches and representative offices across 19 different countries.

The company has representative offices on five continents: Milan (Italy), Istanbul (Turkey), Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong (China), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), New Delhi (India), Cairo (Egypt), Santiago de Chile (Chile), Bogotá (Colombia), New York (United States), Singapore, Johannesburg (South Africa), São Paulo (Brazil), Algiers (Algeria), Lima (Peru) and Sidney (Australia). It is the only Spanish bank with a physical presence in the Australian market and in South Africa (Johannesburg).

It also has international branches in Warsaw (Poland), London (United Kingdom), Frankfurt (Germany), Paris (France), Casablanca, Tangier and Agadir (Morocco). Meanwhile, CaixaBank has agreements in place with international banks, making it easier for companies and individuals from any country in the world to engage in international transactions and foreign trade.

This network has effectively cemented its position as the national leader in foreign trade, as demonstrated by its high market shares. According to data provided by SWIFT, the global provider of secure financial messaging services, CaixaBank has secured a share of 33% of international guarantees issued and a 23% share of import letters of credit to Spain.

CaixaBank was recently named “Best Confirming Bank Partner for Financing in Emerging Markets 2017” by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, within the Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP).

About CaixaBank

CaixaBank is the leading retail bank in Spain, with a 29.3% market share among individual customers. The Bank, headed by its Chairman Jordi Gual, and led by CEO Gonzalo Gortázar, has some 16 million customers in Spain and Portugal and 5,176 branches, making it the largest commercial network on the Iberian Peninsula.

CaixaBank has been named best bank in Spain by some of the most prestigious international publications on banking and finance. To give just a few examples, the Bank was named Best Bank in Spain 2018 by New York magazine Global Finance, while British publication Euromoney crowned it Best Bank in Spain 2017. In 2018, CaixaBank earned its fourth straight title from Euromoney of Best Private Bank in Spain, and the publication also named it Best Digital Bank in Western Europe for the first time this year.

Considered one of the world's most sustainable banks, CaixaBank is included on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and is part of the CDP A-List, which names those companies leading the fight against climate change.