Boston Private Financial Holdings Inc. on Tuesday named Clayton G. Deutsch to succeed Timothy L. Vaill as chief executive officer and president as of July 31.

Vaill's plan to depart was announced last year.

Deutsch, 55, a senior partner at McKinsey & Co., has worked at McKinsey since 1980 and led its merger management practice globally since 2006.

Vaill, who has been president and CEO of the Boston private banking company since he joined it in January 1993, and was named chairman in 2001, helped the company expand — then retrench after the financial turmoil of 2008.

Boston Private spent much of last year's second half selling businesses to generate cash. For example, in September it sold Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust Co. in Coral Gables, Fla., to private investors for $93 million in cash and, by December, had sold Westfield Capital Management Co. to the company's management team to generate $59 million.

These initiatives added $100 million in cash to its balance sheet and let it increase its Tier 1 capital ratio and begin repaying Troubled Asset Relief Program funds borrowed from the government. Boston Private has repaid $50 million of the $154 million that it owed the Treasury.

This conservative approach was a marked change from previous practice. As recently as two years ago, Boston Private's strategy was to establish hubs nationally by buying regional wealth managers and private banks. It averaged a deal every 18 months and had its eye on expanding into 12 to 15 other regions.

"This job really requires a strategist," Vaill said. "This is not an operating job. We are not making loans or picking stocks. We are trying to build a strategy. Clay has built dozens of strategies at McKinsey. He is a terrific communicator."

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