Charles T. Fisher 3d said Monday, he would retire at year-end from his post as chairman and chief executive of Detroit-based NBD Bancorp.
Verne G. Istock, a 30-year veteran of the bank company, was named to succeed him.
NBD, the nation's 17th-largest banking company with $40.4 billion of assets, also announced the promotion of Thomas H. Jeffs 2d to president and chief operating officer.
Mr. Fisher, 63, will surrender the top slot 11 months before his company-mandated retirement at age 65. The executive, who joined NBD in 1958, will stay on as a director.
He said in a prepared statement that his early exit was prompted by his comfort with the bank's succession plans.
Analysts received the news calmly, saying they did not expect any transition shocks under Mr. Istock and Mr. Jeffs. However, they said there was close competition between the pair for the top spot.
NBD boasted earnings of $123 million in the second quarter, translating into a 1.23% return on assets. Its problem assets equaled a slim 1.33% of gross loans while its second-quarter ratio of operating expenses to operating income was 58%. That compares with 62.3% for 29 Midwest companies tracked by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.
Mr. Istock, 53, joined NBD in 1963 as a credit analyst trainee, rising through the corporate banking division to become a director and vice chairman. He holds a master's degree in finance from the University of Michigan.
Mr. Jeffs, 55, took an almost identical path. He, too, joined the company as a credit analyst trainee, in 1962. He rose through the retail banking side to become a director and a vice chairman. He also earned his master's from the University of Michigan.
The transition ends a distinctive career for Mr. Fisher, who is known as Chick. George M. Salem, an analyst at Prudential Securities, credited the executive with transforming NBD from a regional to a superregional banking company, maintaining credity quality throughout the recession, and beefing up consumer operations.
Mr. Fisher, who usually shies away from publicity, is known for his conservatism and practicality. "My five-year goal is to keep the doors of the bank open," he has often told analysts.