A group of insurance companies has tapped a veteran banker to run its planned thrift.

The National Association of Mutual Insurance Cos., which represents 240 property and casualty insurers, named David T. Fronek, 56, as president and chief executive officer of the planned Namic Bank.

The thrift, to be capitalized at $12.5 million, is awaiting regulatory approval. Like the trade group, it would be based in Indianapolis.

Mr. Fronek had been senior vice president in the retail lending services division of Bank One Corp. in Troy, Mich. Previously, he ran the central Indiana region of NBD Bancorp, a Bank One predecessor, and was executive vice president of consumer banking at INB Financial Corp. of Indianapolis, which was acquired by Detroit-based NBD in 1992. In all, he spent 32 years at Midwest banks.

"I had a great career," he said, "but at my age, I was interested in coming back to Indianapolis and trying something different."

The new job will be "a little more entrepreneurial, a little less bureaucratic," he said. "As financial services industries converge, we have a unique opportunity."

Namic Bank's products would be sold by insurance agents representing the companies that have pledged capital for the start-up.

The thrift would initially sell consumer, home equity, and automobile loans, and eventually would offer small-business loans. It would not offer checking accounts, but would offer some savings products. The loans would be funded by the insurers' deposits.

The insurance group hired another former Indianapolis banker, Robert Perdue, early last year. Mr. Perdue was a risk manager in consumer lending at NBD Bank. He is expected to be vice president in charge of risk management at Namic Bank.

Mr. Fronek said he expects to hire a sales manager and a chief financial officer.

"Fortunately for us," said Larry Forrester, president of the association and chairman of the proposed thrift, "with all the bank mergers, there are a lot of senior executives looking to get back into banking,"

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