National City Corp. has hired an insurance industry veteran to build and lead its insurance business.

The Cleveland-based banking company announced Thursday that it has tapped Kenneth J. Coleman to develop and oversee its long-term insurance strategy.

Mr. Coleman, 41, was most recently chief administrative officer for the Capital American Life Insurance Company, in Cleveland. His position at National City is newly created.

"Ken brings us a wealth of experience from the insurance industry," said A. Joseph Parker, retail business line manager, to whom Mr. Coleman reports. "With Ken's help, we will be able to offer our customers a complete menu of insurance products."

National City, a $52 billion-asset bank, already offers property/casualty and credit life and disability products through its Insurance Services Group. Sales of credit life last year were $14.4 million; the other products are new.

Mr. Coleman will help the company decide whether to add new lines of insurance such as life and health-catering to the small business and retail marketplaces.

Annuities are sold through National City's broker-dealer, a separate unit of the bank.

"What we have the opportunity to do is build on the footprint National City has in its geographic market," said Mr. Coleman.

National City has 850 branches in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.

It also has a sophisticated data-mining operation it uses to select which of its three million households to target for direct mail pitches for insurance and other products.

Patrick Moore, president of Patrick Moore Associates, a consulting firm in Cleveland, said the bank, for which he has done consulting work, could make a splash in the Great Lakes region insurance market.

"National City has a strong retail franchise in this region and should be able to make a big success out of insurance marketing," Mr. Moore said.

Before Mr. Coleman's arrival last week, National City's various insurance products were handled by a few managers who reported to Mr. Parker.

Mr. Coleman and other top executives were laid off from Capital American Life this spring as a result of consolidation by Conseco, the Indianapolis- based company that acquired it last year.

From January until May, Mr. Coleman ran the day-to-day operations of the $1 billion-asset company, which offered supplemental insurance, largely for cancer.

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