Robert N. Gilmore, one of the five top managers at CoreStates Financial Corp., said he will step down by yearend to pursue other interests.

Mr. Gilmore, who is chief processing services officer, is a 16-year veteran of the Philadelphia-based banking company. Previously he was chief technology officer.

Mr. Gilmore was instrumental in reengineering the technology and operations of CoreStates' main business units, executives said.

In 1991, Mr. Gilmore was assigned to reshape the way CoreStates made technology decisions. When he began, it was using a highly centralized approach toward technology and operations.

Mr. Gilmore focused his efforts on finding ways to farm out technology decisions - including operations, marketing, sales, and services - to individual business units that were closer to the customer. The changes Mr. Gilmore helped to implement have resonated throughout the company, executives said.

It was as a direct result of Mr. Gilmore's efforts, officials said, that CoreStates eliminated its "office of the chairman," a decision-making body that was led by its top five officials.

Terrence A. Larsen, chairman and chief executive, said disbanding the office has removed an unnecessary management layer, allowing important business decisions to be made by individual units.

Mr. Larsen said he could not persuade Mr. Gilmore to stay.

"I have a very high regard for Bob for his commitment to the organization, and for what he has accomplished," Mr. Larsen said.

Mr. Gilmore has not announced any specific plans. He said in a statement:

"I have enjoyed working with the exceptional people who have brought these businesses to where they are today, and I take pride in seeing them off to the next stage of their success."

Mr. Gilmore's announcement was inevitable, observers said. Claire M. Percarpio, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott, Philadelphia, said CoreStates officials "mentioned that Bob Gilmore has been working his way out of a job by design for a number of years."

"I imagine there is no surprise," she said.

Ms. Percarpio said abolishing the office of the chairman complemented the CoreStates's desire to reduce multiple reporting layers.

"If you have the head of a particular business line reporting up to a sub-vice chairman who reports up to a vice chairman who reports up to Terry (Larsen), you sort of 'flatten it out' by removing some of those in-between layers," she said.

CoreStates officials say one of Mr. Gilmore's more memorable contributions was the reorganization of Questpoint, the umbrella corporation in charge of third-party lockbox, check, and credit card transaction processing.

Questpoint's revenues were approximately $190 million last year. Transys, its check processing arm, processed 1.8 billion checks last year for 200 financial institutions.

Cashflex, the wholesale and retail lockbox remittance processor, lists 3,700 clients, including 70 of the top 100 banks.

A third Questpoint company, Synapquest, which provides third-party commercial credit card processing, eventually will be housed within CoreState's credit card unit.

Synapquest processes for 11 financial institutions.

Mr. Gilmore's oversight of Questpoint has been reassigned to Charles L. Coltman 3d, vice chairman and manager of CoreStates' wholesale banking. Joseph M. Loughry 3d has been named president and chief executive of Questpoint. He will report to Mr. Colton.

Eugene P. Feinour, president and chief executive of Transys, is now in charge of sales at Questpoint.

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