Robert J. Higgins, a 22-year veteran of Fleet Financial Group, emerged as a big winner in a major reorganization unveiled by the Providence, R.I.-based banking company in March. Previously president of Fleet's Connecticut bank, Mr. Higgins was elevated to vice chairman and given broad responsibility for all commercial businesses at the $45 billion-asset company.

Mr. Higgins, 47, also is a key player in managing the reorganization, which realigned Fleet's businesses by function rather than geography and appeared to undermine some of the power of the bank company's regional presidents.

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