By the thinnest of margins, Hartford Life edged American General in annuity sales through banks in Kenneth Kehrer Associates' second-quarter sales tally.

Hartford Life, in Simsbury, Conn., sold $1.139 billion in annuities through banks, to $1.083 billion for Houston-based American General Financial Corp., "Banks are our largest distribution channel," accounting for 40% of all annuity sales, said Bruce Ferris, vice president of investment products sales for Hartford Life. "We got involved in bank distribution ahead of most. In 1989, when we sold $15 million through banks, it was still called an alternative distribution channel, so we've come a long way."

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