David McLean has been appointed chief executive of Westpac New Zealand.
He had been acting CEO of the Australasian bank's local arm since August, when his predecessor, Peter Clare, resigned to recuperate from heart surgery.
McLean, a New Zealander, was previously managing director of Westpac Group's New York branch.
His appointment to the top role is a departure from common practice, as Australians have tended to hold the position in the past.
McLean's appointment was announced by Brian Hartzer, who has taken over as chief executive of Westpac Group today, replacing Gail Kelly.
Hartzer said McLean had done an outstanding job in the acting CEO role.
"I am pleased we are able to appoint someone that I know is already deeply respected and known by the New Zealand business community. It is important to me that someone with such in-depth knowledge of the business and local market will be taking on this critical role for the group," Hartzer said. "David is one of New Zealand's most experienced bankers with extensive knowledge of Westpac's operations, having been with the Group for 16 years in a number of senior positions across both retail and institutional banking."
McLean joined Westpac in 1999 as head of the bank's debt capital markets division in New Zealand.
In 2009 he became general manager of Westpac's private wealth and insurance business, before taking up the role in New York in 2012.
McLean has a background in law and is a barrister and solicitor of the high court of New Zealand.
His roles before joining Westpac included a stint with the capital markets group of Southpac/National bank.
He also established the New Zealand branch of Deutsche Bank.
McLean said he was honoured to have been appointed chief executive.
"This is a great business that I am extremely proud to lead and I look forward to continuing to support our customers, our communities and to take a key role in supporting this country to grow," he said.