Scotiabank names Porter president, seen as heir apparent

Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:19pm EDT
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By Cameron French

(Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) has appointed Brian Porter to the role of president, Canada's No. 3 bank said on Wednesday, a move that suggests he will eventually succeed longtime Chief Executive Rick Waugh.

Porter, 54, who joined the Toronto-based bank in 1981, is currently group head of its strategically important international banking division, which has operations in about 50 countries through Latin America and Asia.

He will officially take over as president on Thursday and report to Waugh, who had been both president and CEO. Dieter Jentsch, currently the bank's executive vice president for Latin America, will take over Porter's role as head of international banking.

Waugh, 64, who has held the bank's top job since 2003, told Reuters in April that he had no imminent plans to step down.

But CIBC World Markets analyst Robert Sedran said Porter's promotion indicates he'll be the bank's next CEO.

"I think it's pretty clear that that's the next step. I'm expecting somewhere in the area of a one-year transition period and then Brian will be named president and CEO," he said.

Indeed, the pattern is familiar, as Waugh took on the role of president in January 2003, then added the role of CEO later that year.

In an interview, Porter wouldn't speculate on whether he was destined for the top job. Asked about the bank's best avenue for growth, he pointed to Scotiabank's footprint in Latin America and Asia, both areas of high economic growth.   Continued...