UPF Barcelona School of Management recognises José Ignacio Goirigolzarri as the Business Person of the Year 2021

El Rector de la UPF, Oriol Amat, entrega el galardón al presidente de CaixaBank, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri
The Rector of the UPF, Oriol Amat, presents the award to the Chairman of CaixaBank, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri
  • The Rector of the Pompeu Fabra University, Oriol Amat, handed the award and highlighted the "leadership role of Goirigolzarri in the main European banking merger", and added that "he is an example of a businessman who symbolises the values that the UPF-BSM wants to transmit"

  • After expressing his gratitude for the award, the Chairman of CaixaBank explained that the aim of the bank is to "lead the transformation process in our sector and to do so in a very inclusive way, with a model that is very close to families and individuals"

  • "To have started this path of recognition with Goirigolzarri", said the Director General of the UPF-BSM, José M. Martinez-Sierra, "sends a message about the values we want to transmit to our students and the germ we want to inoculate in the future leaders of society"

  • The UPF-BSM has been "a benchmark in business training for more than three decades", as the Rector has indicated and as certified by the recognition that the School and CaixaBank obtained from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) in 2021

The UPF Barcelona School of Management (UPF-BSM) has awarded José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, Chairman of CaixaBank, with the Business Person of the Year 2021 Award for his leadership in the integration of CaixaBank with Bankia. During his speech, the Rector of the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Oriol Amat, who presented the award, highlighted "the leadership role of Goirigolzarri in the main European banking merger", and added that "he is an example of a businessman who symbolises the values that the school wants to transmit". 

In this sense, Amat celebrated the "wisdom" of the UPF-BSM in distinguishing its "long and recognised trajectory of exemplary leadership in the banking sector, which influences a decisive contribution to the merger of CaixaBank and Bankia". "The merit of the merger is twofold", said the Rector, since "not only does it strenghten the financial fabric of the State, but it does so with unquestionable respect for the historical origins and principles that nurtured the genesis of the merged entities, thus constituting not only a great bank, but the main benchmark of responsible banking in Spain". 

Goirigolzarri particularly appreciated the award, as "it comes from the university world, from an institution that has an enormous task and responsibility, both from the academic and research perspective, as well as from the technical and ethical training of its students"

For his part, the Chairman of CaixaBank expressed his gratitude for the award, which he particularly appreciated because "it comes from the university world, an institution that has an enormous task and responsibility, both from the academic and research perspective, as well as the technical and ethical training of its students". In addition, the Chairman of CaixaBank wanted to clarify that "the real recipients of this recognition are the whole of the CaixaBank team". "People will continue to be the most important thing in a company", he remarked. 

Institutional leadership for business sustainability

During his speech, Goirigolzarri explained that the aim of the institution is "to lead the process of transformation of the sector and to do so in a very inclusive way, with a model that is very close to families and individuals, as well as to the society we serve".

For this reason, he defended institutional leadership to guarantee the sustainability of business projects: "Institutional leadership must have two basic references: a culture based on values, which inspire the company's strategy, and the creation of a network of local leaders". "Companies must create the breeding ground that allows them to generate these multiple local leaders, responsible for developing the business strategy within the well-established corporate culture", added Goirigolzarri. In this way, the award winner explained that he is not in favour of personalistic and charismatic leaderships in large companies, as "they entail obvious risks for the sustainability of projects and for the growth of people".

A role model to students

"We have created the Business Person of the Year Award following the tradition of the best business and management schools in the world", said the Director General of the UPF-BSM, José M. Martínez-Sierra, who considered that "we teach through knowledge, but also through the example of leaders who are global benchmarks". In his speech, Martínez-Sierra said that having started this path of recognition with José Ignacio Goirigolzarri "sends a message about the values we want to transmit to our students and the germ we want to inoculate in the future leaders of society". 

The presentation of the award to the Chairman of CaixaBank is a "starting point for our School in the search for business people who symbolise the values that UPF-BSM wants to transmit and who serve as a reference for our community", said the Rector 

In this sense, Rector Amat pointed out that this "turning point" in the career of the Chairman of CaixaBank is "at the same time, a starting point for our School in the search for business people who symbolise the values that the UPF-BSM wants to transmit and make visible, and that serve our students and our entire community as a reference". 

Building transformational leaders

The Rector also recalled that the UPF-BSM has been "a benchmark in corporate training for more than three decades", and thanked Goirigolzarri for the importance he attaches to the training of his employees and management teams. "As a teacher in this School for many years, I am particularly proud to have had your confidence in the very important task of internal training for more than 15 years", said Amat. 

From the first banking business programmes aimed at central services until today, more than 25,000 CaixaBank professionals have passed through the classrooms of the UPF-BSM, thanks to which "we have forged a relationship of trust and, I dare say, one of the best training projects in this country and internationally", said the Rector of the UPF. This affirmation is based on the recognition that this training collaboration obtained from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) in 2021, when the School and the bank jointly received the 2021 EFMD Excellence in Practice Silver Award worldwide.

Delegació CaixaBank
Left to right: Gonzalo Gortázar, CEO of CaixaBank; Oriol Amat, Rector of the UPF; José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, Chairman of CaixaBank; and José M. Martinez-Sierra, Director General of the UPF-BSM