One of the nation's most profitable banks has named an insider as its new president.

Houston-based Sterling Bancshares chose J. Downey Bridgwater, chief executive officer of one of Sterling's branches and a career Houston banker, to take over as president of the $1.1 billion-asset company. Mr. Bridgwater succeeds Mark Giles, who announced last month that he would leave Sterling to start a new bank in Charlottesville, Va.

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