Keycorp is making a push to expand its insurance business.

The Albany, N.Y.-based bank announced Monday it has centralized its credit, property, and life insurance operations under one unit.

Stephen K. Heine, general manager of Keycorp's life insurance subsidiary, was named chief executive officer of the unit, called Keycorp Insurance Management Group.

Aiming High

Mr. Heine said Keycorp will seek 20% annual growth for its insurance businesses, which now generate $1.4 million in revenues a month.

The new group is charged with developing business strategies and stepping up sales and marketing efforts across Keycorp's far-flung branch network.

Keycorp sells life insurance to consumers through branches and mortgage lending offices in the nine states in which it operates. The policies are underwritten by life insurance companies, and some are reinsured through a subsidiary, Key Bank Life Insurance Ltd.

Keycorp also offers property and casualty and life insurance to consumers and small businesses in five Western states through Keycorp-owned agencies. The states - Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah - bar state-chartered institutions from directly selling insurance, but allow the banks to sell policies through agencies.

Scouting for Opportunities

"We are investigating what other options exist for offering insurance," said Mr. Heine. "We will be looking at the areas where we are not currently selling insurance to see what we can do to expand the business."

Keycorp will begin targeting customers for its life insurance products through a dedicated sales force, and will step up telemarketing and direct mail campaigns for its property and casualty products. The insurance group currently has 90 employees. Mr. Heine declined to say how many staffers Keycorp plans to add.

The bank is also looking at forging alliances with insurance companies to offer other types of policies to consumers and businesses.

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