W.G. "Gerry" Jurgensen, a prominent First Chicago NBD Corp. executive, has been tapped to head commercial banking products after the merger with Banc One Corp. planned for this year.

Thomas McDowell, 59, a First Chicago executive, had been slated to oversee commercial products at the new Banc One. But Mr. McDowell now plans to retire at yearend, a spokesman confirmed.

Mr. Jurgensen, a First Chicago executive vice president who now heads credit cards, would be responsible for all products related to commercial lending, capital markets, cash management, asset-based lending, and international banking.

In another high-level appointment, one of several revealed through internal memos over the last few weeks, David J. Kundert, chairman and chief executive officer of Banc One investment management, was designated for a similar position in the new Banc One, a $230 billion-asset company to be based in Chicago.

Mr. Jurgensen, 46, had been expected to land a prominent post-merger job ever since Richard Vague, head of Banc One Corp.'s First USA subsidiary, was chosen to head credit cards at the combined bank.

"Gerry Jurgensen is highly regarded, has diverse experiences, and had a critical role in the integration of First Chicago and NBD," said analyst Joseph Duwan of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. "He brings a fresh perspective to any business unit he oversees."

Hired as chief financial officer in 1990, Mr. Jurgensen began his career as a commercial banker. He would be based in Chicago and report to David Vitale of First Chicago, who is poised to be vice chairman of the merged company.

Mr. Jurgensen's appointment continues the trend of adding First Chicago bankers to the commercial banking side of the merged new bank. Banc One executives tend to dominate in consumer banking and credit cards.

Mr. Kundert, 55, would oversee asset management, investment products, insurance, and retail brokerage, presiding over businesses with $113 billion of assets under management. The combined company would be the biggest bank in variable annuity sales and the fourth-largest in mutual fund assets, with $46 billion.

Like Mr. Jurgensen, he would report to Mr. Vitale.

Elsewhere, Robert A. O'Neill, chief auditor at Banc One, would retain that job in the new Banc One. He would report to chairman Verne G. Istock.

John W. Ballantine, First Chicago's risk management officer, will retire. Mr. Ballantine had been slated to keep his job in the new Banc One.

Richard R. Wade, a senior vice president in corporate banking at First Chicago, would be the risk management officer at the merged company.

There are still some key jobs open and prominent executives at both companies who have no announced positions.

Though it has not been announced, David R. Meuse, chairman of Banc One Capital Holdings, would oversee at least a portion of the investment banking business, said a company insider.

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