In an attempt to ensure that their combination comes off smoothly, First Chicago NBD Corp. and Banc One Corp. have appointed two executives to head a merger implementation team.

Philip S. Jones of First Chicago and Thomas E. Hoaglin of Banc One are to head the group.

Mr. Jones is executive vice president in charge of investment products, operations, and properties at First Chicago.

Mr. Hoaglin is chairman of Banc One Services Corp., which supports the Columbus, Ohio, banking company's computer operations.

It is not yet known how big the merger team will be.

The planned $30 billion combination is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The new company, which is to retain the Banc One name, would have $230 billion of assets and be based in Chicago.

The appointment of the executives was made in an internal memo to 90,000 First Chicago and Banc One employees distributed last week.

The memo, from First Chicago chairman Verne G. Istock and Banc One chairman John B. McCoy, said guiding principles would include limiting customer disruption and treating employees "fairly," in addition to meeting financial objectives.

Both customer and employee disruptions can lead to glitches in large mergers, industry experts have said.

"We will minimize customer impact as much as possible," the memo read. "Action plans to buffer customers from adverse impacts will be implemented throughout the integration effort."

The appointments of Mr. Jones and Mr. Hoaglin are "logical," said analyst Joseph Duwan of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. Both men have extensive experience in operations. "It's good to see someone in charge," the analyst added.

Mr. Jones, who joined the former NBD Bancorp's lead unit as a management trainee in 1967, will report to Mr. Istock.

As chief financial officer of NBD, Mr. Jones was one of four executives who oversaw the First Chicago and NBD merger in 1995. It is not yet known what post Mr. Jones would hold in the new Banc One.

Mr. Hoaglin, who will report to Mr. McCoy, joined Bank One Columbus as a banking officer in 1973.

From 1995 to 1997, he oversaw Banc One's ambitious Project One, which, among other things, consolidated 59 bank charters into 12, and revamped the company's structure.

Mr. Hoaglin is to be head of operations in the new Banc One.

"We are committed to making the merger work well and to move quickly," said First Chicago spokesman Thomas Kelly. "So we brought in a person from each of the two previous companies to work on it."

In their memo, Mr. Istock and Mr. McCoy acknowledged that there may be bumps in the road. "We will strive for 80% solutions. We may make some mistakes, but we can fix them later."

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