Founders of the Botin Foundation
Mr. Marcelino Botín Sanz de Sautuola was born in Puente San Miguel (Cantabria) on 10th August 1907. Son of Emilio Botín López and María Sanz de Sautuola y Escalante, and grandson of Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola y Pedrueca , who went down in history as the discoverer of the Altamira paintings.
Married to Carmen Yllera Camino, they had no children. He completed his high school studies at the Colegio de PP, Escolapios de Villacarriedo and then at the University of Deusto, where he studied Economics.
In 1931 he was appointed delegate of La Equitativa. Shortly after, he was at the head of all the agents, “being one of the preeminent figures of society, as evidenced by the fact that for many years he held the presidency of the Circle of Distinguished Agents of La Equitativa, a category that is awarded annually to the whoever obtains the highest revenue from personal insurance premiums”, according to a 1971 newsletter
He was appointed director of the Banco de Santander in 1946 and vice-president of the Board of Directors ten years later. He held important positions in other companies and financial entities: Banco Intercontinental Español SA (Bankinter), Banco Comercial para América, Asfaltos Españoles SA, Sociedad Española del Acumulador Tudor SA, Compañía Española de Petróleos, Iberduero, Unión Resinera Española, Minero Siderúrgica de Ponferrada, Saltos del Sil, Financiera Bansantander, Central de Inversiones en Valores and Mobiliaria Internacional.
Hobbies and Vital Concerns
A great sportsman, he liked to go bowling, being one of the best players of his time and well-known for promoting this sport in Cantabria. The Marcelino Botín Bowling Memorial, which is held annually in Puente San Miguel, continues to be one of the main and most prestigious events of this unique sport in the region. He was also fond of golf and hunting. In addition, he was involved in work of a marked social and cultural nature. Various people and institutions received whatever help they needed.
As his friend, Adolfo Martos, recalls in an obituary published in the newspaper Sur de Málaga shortly after his death “if I had to highlight a feature that in a few words gave us the idea of his being in the world, I would say that it was his spiritual elegance; elegance that was the fruit, first of all, of a kindness of heart and, later, of an education, of a discipline of life, of ethics ». “Endowed with great intelligence for directing important businesses and possessing a great fortune, he was especially careful that none of that was noticed, and speaking with him, it seemed more that, as his friends, we were the ones who taught him and he was the one who received and thanked us for this.”.
He was one of the founding partners of the Montañés de Enseñanza Board, with its Centre for Technical-Business Higher Education Studies, directed by the Compañía de Jesús. Marcelino silently projected himself in all directions. But his vital concern was the promotion and development of the Mountain and those living there, wanting to train leaders at all levels.
Constitution of the Foundation
On 18th April 1964, he established the Foundation that bears his name. Upon his death, he left the Foundation, as his heir, a capital of five hundred million pesetas, a legacy that has been increasing thanks to his wife María del Carmen Yllera Camino, who died on 26th February 1984; Jesús Fernández García Miguel, member of the Governing Board of the institution who died on 13th February 1988; Emilio Botín-Sanz de Sautuola y López, trustee of the institution from the death of his brother until his own death on 22nd September 1993; and his nephew Emilio Botín García de los Ríos, president of the Foundation until his death in September 2014. Currently the president of the Foundation is Javier Botín, son of Emilio Botín. Marcelino Botín died on 16th August 1971 after a long illness.