Fleet Financial Group is transforming its management reporting structure and has created a post to oversee its far-flung operations.
Officials at the $85.5 billion-asset bank, based in Boston, said the recent management change is designed to create a cohesive branch network in the wake of Fleet's nearly completed merger integrations.
"We have operations from Cape May (N.J.) to Cape Elizabeth (Maine)," said Anne M. Slattery, senior vice president and head of consumer banking. "We now have the opportunity to pull it all together."
Last week Roy J. Lever was named executive vice president of Fleet Bank, the principal operating subsidiary, and division director for branch banking.
Mr. Lever, 46, will manage 1,200 Fleet branches sprawled across eight northeastern states. A 12-year veteran of Fleet, he was most recently president of its northern New York State region, based in Buffalo. He will report to Ms. Slattery.
His appointment coincides with the final stages of the integration of operations from Natwest Bancorp., which Fleet bought in 1996.
Ms. Slattery said Fleet is implementing its 1997 business strategy to boost revenues. Mr. Lever's tasks will be to win more business from Fleet's customers and to attract new ones with added products and services.
Market analysts said Fleet's emphasis on building revenues signals that the bank has emerged from a period of internal focus. For the past two years, the analysts said, Fleet's management has concentrated on integrating banks it has bought. In addition to Natwest, Fleet bought Shawmut National Corp. in 1995.
"They have gone through a period of rapid expansion and integration," said Michael Mayo, an analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston. "Now, they are strengthening the foundation to grow revenues."
Fleet's branches had been managed in regional groups, with three executives overseeing separate territories: southern New York and New Jersey, northern New York State, and New England.
Mr. Lever, who declined to comment on his new position, will oversee those three executives from two offices- one in Boston and the other in Hartford, Conn., where the bank's consumer banking operations are run under Ms. Slattery.
Mr. Lever joined Fleet in 1985 with the acquisition of Norstar Bank in Albany, N.Y., where he was a senior vice president overseeing consumer and commercial credit.