For John A. Kanas, the job requirements for a modern bank executive hit home when he and a half-dozen senior managers spent the Fourth of July holed up in the office planning a merger.

"Ten years ago, I would have been spending a nice, four-day weekend relaxing," said Mr. Kanas, chairman and president of North Fork Bancorp of Mattituck, N.Y., whose bank grew from $20 million to $4 billion in 20 years.

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