Peter Ellwood, the British banker who heads Visa International's board and spearheaded its just-completed search for a chief executive officer, brushes off talk of the new man's nationality.

"I didn't attach any significance," Mr. Ellwood said, to the fact that Malcolm Williamson, the group chief executive of London-based Standard Chartered PLC, who won the Visa board's nod in a unanimous vote Wednesday night, is not an American.

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