ANDREA LAMP PEABODY High-technology lending chief Bank of Boston Corp.

Despite the New England doldrums, Andrea Lamp Peabody has managed to maintain her entrepreneurial enthusiasm.

Ms. Peabody, 38, runs Banks of Boston's profitable $2 billion portfolio of loans to high-tech companies--the largest in the nation.

Ms. Peabody began her banking career in 1975 as a lender in the venture-capital subsidiary of Bank of New England Corp.

When the unit was shut down in 1977, she transferred to First National Bank of Boston, where the head of lending at the time, T. Lincoln Morison, "took a skeptical view of anything to do with venture capital."

But his suspicions melted away when he saw Ms. Peabody's work as a lender. With his support, she quickly moved up the ranks.

In 1981 she moved to the lending division of Bankers Trust Co. in New York and stayed for three years. Then Mr. Morison wooed her back to Boston to supervise the company's New York and Argentine loan offices.

She became head of multinational lending in 1988 and was instrumental in cleaning up the company's Argentinian business, which is now thriving.

When she was aksed to run the high-technology division, she recognized an opportunity to return to her risk-taking roots.

"It's risky, but there's a thrill and excitementa bout evaluating the loan and structuring for the risk," she says. "The people who run the companies are all young. They're mavericks, and many have short fuses."

As lender to these somewhat mercurial enterprises, she has developed strong opinion on where growth will be. "We're watching biotech," she says, noting that Massachusetts has already offered tax concessions to encourage that industry.

What is on Ms. Peabody's career horizon? Colleagues say that she may someday head up all lending for Bank of Boston, the slot formerly occupied by Mr. Morison.

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