Scotiabank Names Int’l Group Head Brian Porter President

Bank of Nova Scotia named Brian Porter president, potentially paving the way for him to replace Richard Waugh as chief executive officer of Canada’s third-largest bank.

Waugh, 64, will relinquish the role of president tomorrow and remain CEO, the Toronto-based lender said today in a statement.

“This definitely puts Brian in line to succeed Rick when he decides to step down,” John Aiken, an analyst at Barclays Capital in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “Brian has proven himself to be an excellent leader, and has a broad perspective of Scotia after heading up several of their significant lines of business.”

Waugh said in a television interview last month that his retirement isn’t “imminent.” Scotiabank’s board would make succession decisions when the time comes, the bank said.

Porter, 54, has been with Scotiabank since 1981. Before being appointed to lead the international banking business in 2010, he was chief risk officer. Last year, the international banking operations reported profit of C$1.49 billion ($1.49 billion), representing more than a quarter of net income.

“He’s led the international division, which has had strong success for Scotia,” said Jeffrey Bradacs, a portfolio manager with Manulife Asset Management Ltd. in Toronto, who manages about C$1.5 billion in assets. “Overall the market views it as positive and a step for the next transition to CEO.”

Past Patterns

The bank’s four main business lines -- Canadian banking, international banking, wealth management and global banking and markets -- will report directly to Porter.

“Using past succession patterns at Scotia as a guide, Mr. Porter also appears set to become CEO when Mr. Waugh steps down,” Desjardins analyst Michael Goldberg said today in note to clients. Waugh become president of Scotiabank in January 2003 and succeeded Peter Godsoe as CEO in December that year.

Dieter Jentsch, executive vice president for Latin America, will succeed Porter in the international role, the bank said.

Bank of Nova Scotia rose 0.2 percent to C$54.25 in 4 p.m. trading in Toronto, and has risen 6.7 percent this year.

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