Fleet Financial Group has filled out its management team for the pending merger with Shawmut National Corp., surprising no one with the overwhelming dominance of Fleet personnel.
Of the 31 senior appointments announced last week, only seven are current Shawmut executives. But that is to be expected, since Fleet will acquire Shawmut in the $3.7 billion deal announced Feb. 21.
"I don't think I'm surprised at the cast of characters," said Dean Witter analyst Anthony R. Davis. "I think you'll find a real sharp refocus back on small business, middle market, and consumer lending."
Fleet has always been a retail-oriented bank, while Shawmut dabbled more in out-of-region loans.
The selections were made by the new entity's six-man management committee, which contains only two Shawmut executives: chairman and chief executive Joel B. Alvord, who will become chairman of the new Fleet; and president and chief operating officer Gunnar S. Overstrum, set to become a vice chairman of the combined company in charge of consumer banking and investment services. (Fleet chairman and CEO Terrence Murray will be president and CEO of the combined entity.)
Reporting to Mr. Overstrum will be three Shawmut executives - Robert B. Hedges Jr., Eileen S. Kraus, and Michael J. Rothmeier - and three from Fleet: Harold A. MacKinney Jr.; Michael C. Noble, and Anne M. Slattery. Mr. Hedges will head three retail areas for the new Fleet; Ms. Kraus, the Connecticut Bank, and Mr. Rothmeier the marketing of institutional investment products. Mr. MacKinney will remain chairman of of Fleet Investment Advisers, Mr. Noble will head private banking, and Ms. Slattery will manage consumer and small- business banking.
By contrast, the critical finance area, under Fleet chief financial officer Eugene M. McQuade, will be completely dominated by Fleet, with five out of seven executives hailing from the Providence, R.I.-based company. Only compliance and investor relations functions will go to former Shawmut executives.
Jorge A. Brathwaite, currently director of Shawmut's compliance effort, will hold the same position with the new Fleet. Thomas R. Rice, Shawmut's investor relations chief, also takes the same position with the combined company.
Meanwhile, the merger, which is expected to be consummated by yearend, still faces a few regulatory hurdles, mostly revolving around potential antitrust problems.