I. Malcolm Burnett, the chief executive officer of HSBC's U.S. unit, will retire at yearend, the company confirmed Monday.
Youssef Nasr, 48, chief executive of HSBC Bank of Canada, will succeed Mr. Burnett, 52.
Mr. Burnett, a 33-year veteran of HSBC, has headed the Buffalo, N.Y.-based subsidiary since 1997, when it was known as Marine Midland. It is now HSBC Bank USA. The role of HSBC's American management team, including Mr. Burnett, was thrown into uncertainty in May when the London-based company announced a $10.3 billion deal to buy Republic New York Corp. The deal would merge HSBC's $34 billion-asset retail business with Republic's $53 billion-asset bank.
James Cleave, who preceded Mr. Burnett as chairman of HSBC's predecessor Marine Midland, is heading the integration effort, a Republic spokeswoman said. Neither Mr. Cleave nor Mr. Burnett could be reached for comment.
Marni Pont O'Doherty, an analyst with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in New York, said that on the surface there does not appear to be much duplication in operations. HSBC is dominant in Buffalo; Republic has a strong foothold in New York City.
"I think the thing for HSBC [in the Republic deal] is they really increase the footprint in the five boroughs," Ms. O'Doherty said.
Nor do analysts expect many layoffs or consolidation to be part of the merger, which is expected to close at yearend. HSBC, with nearly 400 branches in upstate New York and New England, does not offer the high-net-worth private banking in the United States that Republic does.
"You're talking about two diverse units," said Stephen Biggar, an analyst with Standard & Poor's equity group. "How to combine the domestic branch operations is a decision they'll have to make. But otherwise there's not a lot of overlap."
Republic's chairman and chief executive officer Dov C. Schlein and president Stephen J. Saali have agreed to remain at the merged company. Mr. Schlein and Mr. Saali took their posts in April, upon the retirement of Walter H. Weiner.
Sources at Republic say HSBC has asked U.S. executives from both banks to submit consolidation plans, which would be approved at HSBC's London headquarters. Still, the lack of details from the banks regarding the integration has puzzled analysts.
Diane Glossman, an analyst with Lehman Brothers in New York, said: "You wouldn't see two U.S. banking companies" this far along in a merger withholding details. "They haven't said anything about this merger except the price."
- James Kraus contributed to this report.