I was contacted by a rep from Santander shareholder relations. Phone conversations were through someone at Sovereign Bank out of Boston. I'm not sure if it was based on a minimum amount of stock, though there seemed to be mostly heavy hitters at the Guggenheim, I think there was a guy there holding as few #$%$0000 shares.
Sorry, brumm, no photos allowed in the Guggenheim. About 20 Santander shareholders were treated like true owners of the company Thursday evening -- a novelty for American owners of stock. We were wined and dined (delightful Spanish wines and tapas) at the Guggenheim's Wright Restaurant for about an hour, then a short talk by the head of U.S. operations (sorry, I didn't catch his name). The most interesting thing to learn was that Santander will begin rebranding Sovereign Banks into Banco Santander -- bringing us up to speed with the rest of the world. We were then given a private guided tour of the Guggenheim and Picasso exhibit. It was inspirational. On the way out, my wife and I were given a Santander bag containing a hardcover book on the Picasso exhibit and a bottle of Spanish olive oil. The entire event was a relatively small occasion in the larger scheme of things, but I'm delighted with Santander's unique, genuine show of appreciation, and I simply couldn't be a happier shareholder.