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Amongst severe questioning and warnings in the European press about Spain’s political and economic troubles, Grupo Santander’s private banking units have made several announcements that, in my view, point in a very positive direction and strengthens Spain’s private financing ecosystem.

Santander Asset Management (SAM) launched recently Alternative Leasing, a new fund dedicated to SMBs, mostly in Spain, that will support buying, then leasing, industrial machinery and equipment. Up to 20% of this fund could provide bonds and credit to any type of SMBs.

This fund will invest between 10 to 50 million Euros in about 50 companies and strengthens Santander’s 50.000 million Euros commitment to financing SMBs as a key component of the economic fabric.

Moreover, just a few days earlier, SAM announced the diversification of its investment portfolio to include venture capital deals. Within the next 5 to 10 years, SAM intends to reach a volume of 45.000 million Euros invested in alternative assets.

Santander’s decision points in the right direction to bring investors of all kinds to Spain, and to part of Europe’s west coast (Spain, France, Portugal and Benelux) to ignite the regions growth oriented business creativity, from SMBs to tech startups and traditional businesses.

These initiatives provide an opportunity to Spain’s political leadership who can further economic recovery and growth through sound public policies, matching and leveraging wisely Spain’s private sector investment goals with public funds coming from Europe.