Very few mortgage executives at commercial banks go on to big jobs at the parent company. But Norwest Mortgage's Mark Oman could be an exception.

Last week Mr. Oman was promoted from president and chief executive officer of Des Moines-based Norwest Mortgage Inc. to chairman. And he was also named an executive vice president of its parent, Norwest Corp., Minneapolis.

Mark L. Korell was named to succeed Mr. Oman as president and CEO of the mortgage unit. Mr. Korell was president of its lender and investor services group; that post will be eliminated.

In his new role Mr. Oman will work with Lynn Horak, chairman and chief executive officer of Norwest Bank Iowa, initially focusing on cross-selling in the state.

Mr. Horak is a 25-year veteran of Norwest Bank Iowa, but he will report to Mr. Oman.

Consultant David Partridge, a director at Towers Perrin, Valhalla, N.Y., said many banks don't rely much on their mortgage units for profits, so mortgage executives don't play big roles in the parent company. But at Norwest that's clearly not the case.

Mr. Partridge said Norwest Corp. wants its mortgage subsidiary to supply 15% to 20% of corporate profits by 2000.

"Norwest is betting a lot of blue chips on the mortgage industry. It makes absolute sense for Mark Oman to be an overall part of management of the franchise," Mr. Partridge said.

He said many banks don't cross-sell effectively because individual products are managed by different divisions that don't interact.

In an interview, Mr. Oman said his main job would be to sell more products to Norwest customers.

"The initial focus will be on leveraging the mortgage relationship," he said.

Mr. Oman is shooting for the average Norwest household to buy eight of the company's products.

The average is now four, but households with Norwest mortgages average six, he said-and a mortgage was the first Norwest product that a third of these households bought.

After an Iowa trial, the cross-selling push is expected to be rolled out nationwide.

Mr. Partridge said Norwest does a better job of cross-selling than most banks, since it tries to offer as many products as possible to people who are looking for a mortgage.

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.