Santander appoints new head of chemical sector team


Santander Corporate & Commercial has appointed Susan Brench as head of its national chemical sector team. This is a new role in the manufacturing sectors team and Susan will report to Paul Brooks, head of manufacturing.

Susan has over 30 years' experience in industrial strategic commercial management, stakeholder engagement, marketing and international business development, working with clients in Europe, the US and Japan. Most recently, Susan was part of Briar Chemicals’ senior management team, where she helped transform the company into a successful independent manufacturing partner for third parties.

She has previously worked for Pentagon Chemicals and Barclays Asset Finance, and is also the Founder of Akemi Associates Ltd, which provides consultancy and business development services to the chemical manufacturing and allied sectors. She holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge.

A report published last year by Santander and the manufacturing organisation EEF on the UK chemicals sector concluded that demand from emerging markets, the rise of the ‘green chemistry’ industry and the impact of digitalisation are three key future market opportunities for UK chemical manufacturers. The industry contributed £12.1bn in gross value added and £21bn in sales in 2016 - a significant part of the UK manufacturing sector.

Paul Brooks, head of manufacturing, Santander Corporate & Commercial, commented: “ We are delighted to welcome Susan to Santander. She has unparalleled experience in the chemicals sector, a target growth market for Santander and a key manufacturing sector for the UK. Santander has increased its appetite for the sector, and her appointment underlines our deep support for our current clients and focus on establishing new ones.”

Commenting on her new role, Susan said: The UK chemicals sector is a key industry and one in which the UK is a global leader. I’m truly excited by this new opportunity to work with the Santander chemicals and manufacturing team to help facilitate the sustainable growth of an increasingly competitive industry sector.”