Fifth Third Bancorp has hired insurance industry veteran Howard McClure as head of insurance services, a newly created position at the Cincinnati company.

McClure will report to Lars Anderson, the $142 billion-asset bank's chief operating officer.

"Howard McClure is the perfect individual to help Fifth Third evaluate and launch strategic initiatives to further grow our insurance presence," Fifth Third's president and chief executive, Greg Carmichael, said in a press release Wednesday.

McClure will also be in charge of employee benefits for the consumer and commercial lines of business.

Before joining Fifth Third, McClure was president of the Texas business insurance firm Palmer & Cay. Before that he was head of Wells Fargo's Southwest region and managed a major part of Wachovia's insurance division.

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