Regional president Norwest Corp., Minneapolis

Jon Campbell was born to banking. But skill as well as heritage brought the executive to his current perch at Norwest.

In his role as a regional president and scout for Norwest, Mr. Campbell recently helped engineer the takeover of $2.25 billion-asset Lincoln Financial Corp., Fort Wayne, Ind.

The deal is but one of many that Mr. Campbell hopes to pull off for Norwest, most immediately in Illinois. The banker, stationed in Peoria, has been asked to devote his full attention to acquisitions in the Land of Lincoln.

"I've spent a couple of years spreading the Norwest story and getting to know banks with demographics similar to ours, says the University of Minnesota graduate.

The assignment at Norwest is far beyond the scope of the community banking world in which Mr. Campbell, 37, was raised.

Growing up in Byron, Minn., Mr. Campbell's first encounter with a bank was as an unofficial assistant custodian at his father's bank, helping manicure the lawn and clean the teller stations.

Casting about for a career after graduating from college, Mr. Campbell did "the natural thing," signing on as a trainee in Norwest's Omaha office.

During subsequent migrations through the Norwest system, Mr. Campbell got involved in mergers -- and apparently found his calling.

When Norwest bought First Interstate Corp. of Wisconsin in 1989, Mr. Campbell, then a Twin Cities regional manager, Volunteered to work on the transition. After that, he moved to Peoria and began scouring Illinois and Indiana.

Once the Lincoln Financial deal is closed, Norwest's Indiana operations will be taken off Mr. Campbell's hands and placed into a discrete division, leaving Mr. Campbell free to concentrate on Illinois.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.