New York Gov. George Pataki has nominated Neil D. Levin, state superintendent of banks since February 1995, to take over the state's insurance department.

If confirmed by the state Senate as expected, Mr. Levin would replace Edward Muhl, who resigned in December.

"To stay in the cabinet and move to another post is very exciting for me," Mr. Levin said in an interview Monday.

The nomination comes just six months after the Republican governor, in an executive order, authorized state banks to establish insurance sales subsidiaries.

Michael Barry, a spokesman for the state banking department, said a search for Mr. Levin's successor is under way.

Mr. Levin is expected to move to his new job within two weeks, after a formal investigation into the activities of Swiss banks in the United States is under way.

The superintendent began looking into the banks' handling of Holocaust victims' assets several months ago, and he recently traveled to Switzerland to meet with bank officials there.

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