The Cuatrecasas Foundation has granted the fourth Manuel Olivencia Award to Repsol in recognition of good corporate governance practices by Spanish listed companies. The award ceremony was held on February 17 via streaming from Madrid’s Palacio de la Bolsa; present at the ceremony were Meritxell Batet, president of the Spanish Congress of Deputies; Antonio Brufau, president of Repsol; Macarena Olivencia, honorary chair of the jury; and Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, member of the jury, partner at Cuatrecasas and former deputy prime minister of the Spanish government.
In this fourth edition of the Manuel Olivencia Award, the jury acknowledged Repsol’s corporate governance actions and their significance in the decision-making process, as well as their influence on third parties and on the creation of sustainable value. Among other important aspects, the jury also considered the structure, makeup and functioning of the different committees of the board of directors as key elements of support in defining corporate strategy, implementing corporate policies and performing the board’s oversight and control tasks.
The Cuatrecasas Foundation grants this award in honor of the memory of the late Manuel Olivencia, humanist, professor of commercial law at the University of Seville, vice chair of Cuatrecasas and chair of the committee that drafted the first Spanish Code of Corporate Governance in 1998, known as the Olivencia Code.
Repsol is a global, multi-energy company. It leads the energy transition and has set itself the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. It is present throughout the entire value chain with 24,000 employees worldwide, distributing its products to 24 million customers in almost 100 countries.
To be a net-zero emissions company by 2050, Repsol is committed to a production model that integrates all the key decarbonization technologies. It is based on efficiency improvement, increased renewable power generation capacity, the production of low-carbon fuels, new solutions for clients, a circular economy and the promotion of cutting-edge projects to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.
About the panel of judges for the fourth Manuel Olivencia Award
The panel is made up of 15 highly regarded professionals from Spain’s business and legal spheres. It is chaired by Matías Rodríguez Inciarte, who also chairs Santander Universities and Sanitas health insurance company. He holds a Bachelor of Economics by the Complutense University of Madrid and is a member of the Body of Commercial Technicians and State Economists.
The members of the panel are: Juan Arena, former chair of Bankinter and member of the board of Meliá Hotels International; Francisco Ballester, honorary partner at Cuatrecasas; María Benjumea, founder and CEO of Spain Startup; Eva Castillo, former chair of Telefónica Europa and Merrill Lynch Spain and Portugal, and member of the boards of CaixaBank, IAG and Zardoya Otis; Óscar Fanjul, vice chair of Ferrovial; Rosa María García, independent member of the board of Mapfre; Cristina Garmendia, chair of the Cotec Foundation and member of the board of CaixaBank; Ignacio Gil-Casares, external proprietary director of Merlin Properties and member of the appointments and remuneration committees; Luis Isasi, chair of Santander Spain and senior advisor at Morgan Stanley; Consuelo Madrigal, former attorney general; Francisco Pérez-Crespo Payá, partner at Cuatrecasas; Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, partner at Cuatrecasas and former deputy prime minister of Spain; Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, dean of the University of Navarra; and Antonio Zoido, former chair of Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (Spanish company dealing with the organizational aspects of the Spanish stock exchanges and financial markets) and chair of the Madrid stock exchange. Rafael Hidalgo, counsel at Cuatrecasas, serves as non-member secretary; José Luis Rodríguez, partner at Cuatrecasas, is the award’s director; and Macarena Olivencia, counsel at Cuatrecasas, is honorary chair.
About previous editions of the Award
In only four editions, the award has become a benchmark for the recognition of corporate governance best practices by listed companies in Spain. The Manuel Olivencia Award for Good Corporate Governance was awarded to the International Airlines Group (IAG) in 2018, Amadeus IT Group in 2019, and Inditex in 2020.
With each year’s winner, the jury panel has highlighted the composition of their boards of directors, which have an ample majority of independent directors, including their chairs. The panel has also valued their investor relation policies, the duration of the directors’ term of office, the selection of and training policies for the directors, and transparency in remuneration matters. In 2020, the panel particularly valued aspects related to good governance during the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
About Manuel Olivencia
Manuel Olivencia was an accomplished lawyer who combined the vocation of teaching from his chair of commercial law with the desire to share knowledge from his professional work at Cuatrecasas, as a partner of the firm. His impressive professional curriculum as a lawyer, university professor, undersecretary of education, commissioner of the Expo 92 in Seville and chair of the commission that drafted the Olivencia Code, is complemented by his personal trajectory and the indelible memories he left his family, friends, students, colleagues and everyone who knew him.
As a true cosmopolite who studied and lived in different countries, he received many acknowledgments throughout his life, both in Spain and abroad. Among the many awards received, Olivencia possessed several Spanish Grand Crosses—the Civil Order of Alfonso X “the Wise,” the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic, the Cross of Military Merit, the Cross of Saint Raymond of Penyafort, and the Cross of St. George of Catalonia. He was named Favorite Son of Ronda and Adopted Son of Seville, and received the Gold Medal of Ceuta, where he spent part of his childhood.
About the Cuatrecasas Foundation
Created in 1991, the Cuatrecasas Foundation focuses its activity on projects related to the rule of law and access to justice in line with the United Nations Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goal 16 of peace, justice and strong institutions. The foundation’s signature activities are the Manuel Olivencia Award for Good Corporate Governance, the Manuel Olivencia Scholarship and the creation of the Spanish Pro Bono Foundation, a platform including a wide representation from the legal world to develop pro bono projects in Spain.