Gunnar S. Overstrom Jr., the executive who oversaw Fleet Financial Group's aggressive investment management acquisition strategy, will resign once Fleet's merger with BankBoston Corp. is complete, a Fleet spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
Mr. Overstrom, a Fleet vice chairman, will be succeeded by Bradford H. Warner, a BankBoston vice chairman for regional banking, the spokesman said.
Mr. Overstrom decided to leave the bank after discussing his role at the new bank, to be called Fleet Boston Corp., with Terrence Murray, Fleet's chairman and chief executive officer.
The Fleet spokesman said Mr. Overstrom and Mr. Murray "reviewed what he might do, and it was decided that he would leave the company at the completion of the merger." The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.
Mr. Murray will head the merged bank until 2001, when Charles Gifford, currently BankBoston's chairman and CEO, will take over. Mr. Gifford will be president and chief operating officer of Fleet Boston through 2001.
Mr. Overstrom has headed Fleet's investment unit since April 1997, reporting directly to Mr. Murray. He was one of only two top Shawmut National Corp. executives to survive Fleet's acquisition of Shawmut in 1996.
As captain of Fleet's investment business, Mr. Overstrom helped Fleet dramatically increase its assets under management. At yearend 1996, before he joined, assets under management were $48 billion, and at yearend 1998 the figure was $84.1 billion. Mr. Overstrom also helped Fleet enter previously uncharted territory, such as discount brokerage.
In late 1997, Mr. Overstrom oversaw the acquisition of Columbia Asset Management, the Portland, Ore.-based money manager, for $600 million.
In early 1998 the bank bought Quick & Reilly, a Palm Beach, Fla., discount broker-dealer, for $1.6 billion. With that deal Fleet gained not only a discount brokerage, but also JJC Specialist Corp., a New York Stock Exchange market maker, and U.S. Clearing, a securities clearing operation.
Last May, Fleet gained a toehold in international asset management when it took a 35% stake in Oechsle International Advisors, a globally focused investment company.
Mr. Overstrom did not return a call yesterday seeking comment.
Mr. Warner, who will succeed Mr. Overstrom, has a background in asset management, said a BankBoston spokesman. In his role as head of the regional bank, Mr. Warner is responsible for high-net-worth clients as well the bank's consumer and small-business customers, the spokesman said.