Fleet Mortgage Group's selection of Gerald L. Baker as chairman and chief executive could be a strong indication that Fleet intends to be an aggressive competitor in the reshuffled mortgage business, industry observers say.

"We've always been very strong in secondary marketing and in servicing," said Michael R. Zucchini, vice chairman of Fleet Financial Group, Providence, R.I., which owns 81% of Fleet Mortgage. "Jerry has excellent retail strengths. He'll be a terrific addition for the originations side. We think he'll make a terrific allaround chairman."

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