Lara de Mesa

Global Head of Responsible Banking/ESG


Lara de Mesa is global head of responsible banking/ESG at Santander since September 218. From this position and reporting to the head of the executive chair’s office, she leads the function that sets the ESG strategy and its embeddedness across the group entire offering, internal operations, and stakeholders’ engagement.

Prior to this position, Lara was Head of Public Policy at Santander Bank since May 26. She started up the department responsible for monitoring financial regulatory initiatives, set group positioning and engage with industrial associations and regulatory bodies.

Her career began in Analistas Financieros Internacionales where she worked on strategic and economic consulting for international public, private and multilateral entities, including fieldwork in LatAm and Eastern Europe. She was partner of this firm since 24.

Lara is a member of the IIF sustainable finance steering and EBF CSO roundtable. She was a member of the Stakeholders Banking Group of the European Banking Authority (218-22); in 219 she was awarded MIGA Gender CEO Award on “Women Leading Climate Finance”. She was a member of the IIF Future Leaders Group – Class of 218.

Lara provides training on public economics, policy issues and ESG in both an academic and professional context. She has an Msc in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE, UK), and holds an advanced studies diploma and a bachelor´s degree in economics from Universidad Complutense Madrid, Spain.

She is passionate and committed about making the difference and produce a positive impact. She is married, has three children and enjoys reading, running, hiking, and skying. She is partner and board member of the family business Santo Tome, a traditional inclusive bakery, and promoter, founder and member of the network We Are We Add. She collaborates with different NGOs and is mentee of young professionals and vulnerable people.