ABN Amro North America has hired a high-profile Chicagoan to build its fractured individual investment and private banking business into a unified operation.

Alger B. "Duke" Chapman, 65, the former chairman and chief executive of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, has been named vice chairman of ABN Amro Chicago Corp.

Although an executive of the company's investment banking firm, Mr. Chapman is responsible for building the personal financial services businesses at ABN Amro's LaSalle Bank group in Chicago and at other U.S. subsidiaries. ABN Amro North America, which employs 110 brokers, primarily sells mutual funds, insurance, and annuities to its bank customers.

Mr. Chapman said he is still developing his strategy but that the Chicago unit of ABN Amro Holding NV of Amsterdam hopes to expand its personal investment business by stepping up sales to its approximately one million consumer bank customers in the United States.

The Dutch company also wants to bring customers of its European American Bank on Long Island, and those from its planned acquisition of $15 billion- asset Standard Federal Bancorp. in Detroit, under one, unified division, he said. Each bank is likely to operate under its own brand name.

The job should take about five years, after which Mr. Chapman plans to retire. "When I think of my life and my energy, I see this as a five-year window," he said.

Mr. Chapman compared building the personal banking business to establishing a private bank business at American Express, a company he left in 1986 after five years. He joined American Express after it bought Shearson Leob Rhodes, a securities firm he joined in 1966.

A graduate of Columbia University School of Law, Mr. Chapman said he has been friends with ABN Amro Chicago chairman John A. Wing for 25 years. It was Mr. Wing who initially contacted him for the new position.

Officials declined to say how much the company earns from investment product sales, but it's proportionately small compared with LaSalle's income. "The objective is to make it a bigger piece," said Mr. Wing. "The strategy is not in place," he added. "We have a lot of ideas we don't want to talk about yet."

Mr. Chapman officially retired from the Chicago Board Options Exchange on March 31, after 11 years there. The exchange's new chairman is William Brodsky, former president of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

ABN Amro has been growing aggressively in the United States for the past several years and has $72 billion in North American assets, mostly in its Chicago operations.

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