HSBC’s Bottomley to Succeed Watkinson in North America Role

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s biggest bank by market value, named Stephen Bottomley, who was most recently running strategy and planning in the Middle East and North Africa, to oversee commercial banking in North America.

Bottomley, 52, succeeds Mark Watkinson, 49, who was reassigned to lead the bank’s operations in Malta after less than a year in the North America role, according to a statement from the London-based bank. Bottomley started yesterday in New York and reports to Alan Keir, the London-based global head of commercial banking, and to Irene Dorner, the New York-based president and chief executive officer of HSBC USA.

Stuart Gulliver has changed the leadership in commercial banking and North America since he won a succession struggle at the bank in September 2010 and replaced Michael Geoghegan as HSBC’s CEO at the end of the year. Keir was promoted to global head of commercial banking in December 2010 and Dorner assumed some of Niall Booker’s responsibilities when he stepped down as CEO of HSBC North America in November.

“North America accounts for nearly 15 percent of world trade, making it a vital international trade hub and an important regional market for HSBC,” Keir said in the e-mailed statement today. “In coming years, international trade flows from the region are expected to grow substantially, especially with many emerging economies where HSBC has a long-established presence.”

Bottomley graduated from Loughborough University in the U.K. in 1982 and has worked at HSBC for almost 30 years, holding positions including head of European strategy, head of commercial banking in the U.K. and running commercial finance in Europe, according to the bank.

“Steve will lead a growing commercial banking business here, which is at the center of HSBC’s strategy in the region,” Dorner said in the statement.

HSBC climbed 2.7 percent to 504.7 pence today in London trading. The shares have dropped 25 percent in the past year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Harper in New York at charper@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.

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