HSBC hires chief legal officer as Bennett retires

HSBC Holdings has named Stuart Levey as its first chief legal officer ahead of the retirement of general counsel Richard Bennett.

Levey will gradually take over from Bennett over the course of the year.

Bennett is retiring at the end of 2012 after 33 years with HSBC. He served as the bank’s UK-based head of legal and compliance and group general manager from 1998 to 2010, before being named group general counsel in January 2010.

Levey was the first under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence in the US Department of the Treasury from 2004 to 2011 under Presidents Bush and Obama. Prior to his Treasury appointment, he was the principal associate deputy attorney general for the US Department of Justice, having joined the department from Baker Botts legacy firm Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin.

Levey will report to group chief executive Stuart Gulliver. Bennett will continue as a part-time adviser to Gulliver after he retires.

HSBC Holdings is the parent company of HSBC Group.