Bruce Abrams, who was named president of American General Annuity Insurance Co. in Houston last week, has set an ambitious goal for his unit: to increase variable annuity sales through banks so they are equal to sales of fixed annuities.

"A lot of companies have focused on the variable annuities, but there's a lot of growth potential there," Mr. Abrams said. His company hopes to offer banks "a different value proposition" by increasing their involvement in product design and giving them more marketing support than its competitors, he said.

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