Cleveland-based National City Corp. said Thursday that it intends to open a corporate banking office in Philadelphia under the leadership of Charles Coltman 3d, former vice chairman of CoreStates Financial Corp.

Mr. Coltman, who retired in May from the company that acquired CoreStates last year, Charlotte, N.C.-based First Union Corp., is to be joined by four other former CoreStates corporate bankers in the new National City office. The unit is to focus on serving middle-market and large corporate clients, especially companies in communications, retail, commercial real estate, and transportation.

"We'll be starting out with significant years of experience and talented people that are known in the market," said David A. Daberko, National City's chairman and chief executive officer.

The move into Philadelphia is $84 billion-asset National City's first into eastern Pennsylvania and the Northeast. It also begins a corporate banking expansion that is planned to include adding people in existing National City offices in Detroit and Chicago in the next few months.

Mr. Daberko said National City normally expands into new markets by first acquiring a retail bank and then adding corporate lending staff. In Philadelphia, however, National City is hiring the corporate bankers first and has no plans to add retail branches in the market.

"The main objective is corporate banking services," Mr. Daberko said.

Mr. Coltman approached Mr. Daberko about leading National City's efforts in Philadelphia shortly after his retirement from First Union as executive vice president and head of global banking, Mr. Daberko said. National City already had a small base of customers in Philadelphia. The loans and services were administered at National City's Pittsburgh office.

Mr. Daberko said he thinks Philadelphia can support a permanent corporate banking presence.

"Philadelphia looks like a good market for us," he Daberko said. "Chuck (Coltman) knew the way we did corporate banking and knew our company."

Joining Mr. Coltman in the Philadelphia office will be Paul D. Geraghty, 46, a former CoreStates executive vice president. Mr. Geraghty will have the same title at National City and head market development and administration in Philadelphia.

Daniel Aboyan, 44, former head of investment banking at CoreStates, will be the executive vice president responsible for business development and corporate finance activities.

Edward O'Donnell, 53, former CoreStates executive vice president for corporate banking, will be a National City senior vice president and head of transportation, equipment and lease financing.

The former head of CoreStates' communications and media group, James H. Brooks, 50, will have the same responsibilities at National City as senior vice president. Bruce Muddell, executive vice president, will be the new unit's chief credit officer.

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