LONDON (Reuters) - Standard Chartered <STAN.L> has named former deputy governor of the Bank of Spain Jose Vinals as its new chairman, ending a 16-month search for a new leader to oversee a sweeping turnaround plan being undertaken by its new CEO.

StanChart announced on February 26 last year that Chairman John Peace and former Chief Executive Peter Sands would step down from their roles in a comprehensive overhaul of management that sought to draw a line under a disastrous three-year period for the lender.

Since new Chief Executive Bill Winters joined last June to lead the bank's transformation he has axed over 15,000 jobs, raised $5.1 billion in fresh capital, and sold bad loans to shrink and refocus the lender.

Vinals will join the Asia-focused bank as Chairman designate on October 3 and succeed Peace on December 1, StanChart said.

Winters and Naguib Kheraj, the board member who led the search for a new chairman, said Vinals was an expert on the global financial system with contacts in central banks worldwide.

"Jose brings deep and extensive economic, political and regulatory experience of our markets and an exceptional grasp and understanding of the international financial system," Winters said.

Vinals joins from the IMF where he was head of its Monetary and Capital Markets Department, as well as its chief spokesman on financial matters and global financial stability.

Kheraj said Vinals was also familiar with key Asian markets including India and China through his work with the IMF.

"He is well known to the central banks in Hong Kong, Singapore and India... He displayed a great deal of understanding and knowledge of all our key markets in Asia".

Before joining the IMF he spent 25 years at the Spanish central bank, in a deputy governor role that involved oversight of monetary policy, supervision of banks and management of financial reserves.

StanChart also named Naguib Kheraj on Wednesday as its new deputy chairman.

Kheraj told reporters on a conference call that the length of the search reflected the increased obligations on a bank chairman post-2008 and the challenge of finding someone conversant with StanChart's markets of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Responding to questioning of Vinals's lack of direct experience in commercial banking, Kheraj said the path from public sector to private sector among senior bankers is well-trodden.

"Jose has a lot of experience in dealing with commercial banks because he been a bank regulator...he has spent a lot of time with banks' management," Kheraj said.

Vinals will be paid 1.25 million pounds ($1.64 million) a year, the bank said. He will move from Washington to London and devote four days a week to the role.

After a decade of record profit growth leading up to 2012, Standard Chartered's fortunes under Peace and Sands changed as it became embroiled with U.S. regulators over Iran sanctions, and suffered losses amid plunging commodities prices globally.

Standard Chartered shares ended the day one percent firmer while the benchmark FTSE 100 <.FTSE> finished 0.4 percent higher.

($1 = 0.7628 pounds)

(Reporting By Lawrence White, editing by Sinead Cruise and Elaine Hardcastle)