Fleet Bank NA of Jersey City, Fleet Financial Group's bank for the New York metropolitan area, has promoted its top official, Mark C. Wheeler Jr., to the newly created post of president.

In addition to running the bank, Mr. Wheeler will lead its specialized finance group, which includes the media and communications, acquisition finance, and health-care business lines.

His old title was market manager in the New York metropolitan banking group. Earlier he was executive vice president and market manager in Massachusetts for Fleet Financial's commercial banking unit there.

He came to Fleet in 1991 as an executive vice president. Earlier he was a managing director in corporate finance at Bankers Trust Co., and still earlier he worked for Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co.

John C. Simons got Mr. Wheeler's old title. He will be in charge of middle-market and large corporate banking in New York, Westchester, and Rockland counties. Mr. Simons had been market manager for the five boroughs of New York City.

Richard Silverman, a longtime Fleet executive in the metropolitan area, was promoted to vice chairman of the bank.

Kevin Dolan was promoted to senior vice president. Mr. Dolan is a district manager who oversees 27 New York City branches, in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Earlier he was a market sales manager in metropolitan New York. He came to Fleet in 1993 from Chemical Bank, where he was a vice president in branch banking administration.

Fleet Bank NA also hired David M. Saunders as a vice president and relationship manager in its commercial banking division. He will be based in Melville, N.Y., and serve midsize companies on Long Island.

Mr. Saunders came from European American Bank, where he was a vice president and business development officer. Earlier he worked at North Fork Bank and National Westminster Bank USA.

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