A milestone last Friday in the Chase-Chemical merger offered a rare glimpse of a bank executive cum showman.
As master of ceremonies at a corporate pep rally, Denis O'Leary, Chase Manhattan Corp.'s chief technology officer, offered some vagrant thoughts on the megamerger:
*"It was a great excuse to avoid the in-laws."
*"We didn't have to worry about getting Lyme disease" (a tick-borne hazard of the outdoors).
*"We spent our summer on water - 55 Water" (the address of a Chemical Bank operations center).
*"There's now one less bank to merge with."
The rally at Chase's Metrotech Center in Brooklyn, one of four held in recent weeks for back-office and technology workers, was equal parts inspiration and congratulation.
The 200-plus Chase employees who attended the Aug. 2 breakfast meeting watched a video of preparations for Day 2 - the merger's second major stage - starring themselves. Two singers entertained them with pertinent words set to the melodies of "The Banana Boat Song" and "Lean on Me." And 12 senior bank executives thanked them.
"You've made this team one that we're proud of," said Edward D. Miller, senior vice chairman of Chase. "Keep up the good work."
Mr. O'Leary, who directed the proceedings much as a talk show host might do, denied ever considering a career in late-night television. A good thing because, according to the applause meter, he was outperformed by none other than the bank's chief auditor, William Moran.