Competing amidst Connecticut's insurance industry and New York's much larger banks, Summit Bancorp. has been waging a quiet battle for a better share of the annuity marketplace - and winning.

Seven years after it sold its first fixed-rate annuity, the Chatham, N.J.-based banking company is an ambitious seller of fixed and variable annuities, piling up more than $53 million in total sales last year.

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