Today, Agbar’s Executive Chairman, Angel Simón, was awarded the “Clau de Barcelona” in recognition of his work in the business field. This award, which is presented by the “Club d’Amics Clau de Barcelona”, recognizes and pays tribute to those who contribute through their effort and work to the good name and promotion of the city. “I am pleased to receive this award, which I interpret as recognition of the good water management and of the attitude of collaboration with the institutions that has governed Aigües de Barcelona’s activity over their 150 years of history together”, Angel Simón stated during the award presentation ceremony.
In his intervention, he referred to the importance of group work: “If I had to highlight one differential feature of the stage that I have been responsible for managing, I dare say that it would be that it is entirely group work. I am not just referring to the whole of our firm’s team, to the more than 1,000 of us who work in Aigües de Barcelona, but also to our suppliers, to the cultural and social institutions with which we work closely, and to the sphere of research and the public administration, as well as to our users”.
The event was attended by the former mayors of Barcelona Jordi Hereu, Xavier Trias and Ernest Maragall, in representation of his brother Pasqual Maragall. For his part, Joan Clos apologized for his absence due to a prior engagement. Agbar’s Chairman was grateful to the former mayors for “their understanding and their firm defence of a model which is already universal and which works: that of Barcelona, an example of collaboration between its institutions and private initiatives”. In this respect, he added: “Thanks to this joint work and attitude, it was possible to hold the ‘92 Olympic Games, a time of collective enthusiasm which you, as mayors, were able to maintain and promote and which it would be worth continuing, above all at such a turbulent and divisive political and social time”.
Agbar’s Chairman stressed the importance of listening, dialogue and the ability to adapt to reality. “Companies worldwide and entrepreneurs need a stable and credible framework and a climate which favours business initiatives. A framework of legal certainty in which to work in the long term with rules of play which are equal for everyone. Taking into account that the long-term interest of citizens is always above any tactical interest and any populist temptation”.
The Deputy Editor of La Vanguardia, Miguel Molina, referred to the professional career of the award winner, whom he called “one of those citizens of Barcelona who are capable of staying one step ahead of reality and of helping to leave a better, cosmopolitan and metropolitan city for future generations”, and emphasized that “he is a convinced supporter of thinking of Barcelona in terms of a metropolis. In his case, think big means not thinking of Barcelona limited to its strict municipal area, but rather as a city of 3.2 million inhabitants which integrates all the strengths and capabilities of the different municipalities”.
With a career which has taken him to different continents and to management and leadership positions in both the public and the private sphere, and after being manager of the Metropolitan Corporation of Barcelona, Angel Simón joined AGBAR in 1995. He has held various leadership positions and, in 2010, he was appointed Executive Chairman. Since 2013, he has been Senior Executive Vicepresident of SUEZ, in charge of Water Europe.
The “Club d’Amics Clau de Barcelona” was set up in 1964 on the initiative of the renowned journalist Manuel Tarín Iglesias. The “Clau” is awarded with the consensus of all of its members, and cannot be granted to people who hold an official position while they are in office. This is a goodwill initiative intended to underline the importance of and the need for dialogue between people.
The event, attended by 115 guests and held in the Hotel Avinguda Palace in Barcelona, included the participation, among others, of the Vicepresident of the Clau de Barcelona, Josep Lluís Rovira who, as well as welcoming all those present, explained what led the institution to present this award to Agbar’s Executive Chairman.