Peter Hancock, who joined KeyCorp as vice chairman of its national banking business group just more than a year ago, is leaving the Cleveland company to oversee American International Group Inc.’s controversial derivatives business.

Hancock, who earlier in his career helped start the derivatives unit of a predecessor to JPMorgan Chase & Co., is to begin at AIG this month, according to the insurer’s spokesman Mark Herr.

Hancock joined Key in December 2008 to oversee corporate finance, cash management, investment banking and capital markets businesses, among other business lines. Key said in a press release, “Interim management arrangements will be announced shortly.” A Key spokesman declined to comment beyond the release. Herr said Hancock was unavailable to comment.

Hancock's title at AIG is to be EVP, finance, risk investments. He is to oversee the insurance giant’s finance, risk management, auditing, investment and strategic planning activities, as well as the derivatives unit, AIG Financial Products Corp.

This division nearly brought down AIG by writing massive amounts of credit-default swaps, which some critics say were a catalyst of the financial crisis.

Hancock helped pioneer the use of credit-default swaps, which are essentially a kind of bond insurance, during 20 years at the former J.P. Morgan & Co., where he was CFO, chairman of the risk management committee and head of global fixed income.

This story has been reprinted with permission from American Banker.

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