Infinet Payment' Services Inc. announced a new management structure and several strategic initiatives that hint at the shape the recently formed company will take.

Dennis Lynch, former executive at Fleet Financial Group, joins Infinet as chief operating officer and executive vice president of marketing and strategic planning.

Nicholas J. Cenimo, the 43-year-old chief financial officer of Yankee 24, has been named senior vice president overseeing finance.

Former NYCE operation executive Steven A. Rathgaber, 41, becomes senior vice president in charge of sales and production.

A fourth position, heading administration, has yet to be filled.

These four executives will report directly to Richard P. Yanak, president and chief executive of the new superregional network. Gary Roboff, who briefly held the top post at NYCE, is returning to Chemical Banking Corp. to head up its payment systems area.

Infinet, which was formed when NYCE and Yankee 24 merged earlier this year, also announced its intention to retain the NYCE brand name.

By bringing on an executive team experienced in new product development and customer service, Infinet is signaling its clear intention to capitalize on the strategic possibilities that come with operating the largest network in the Northeast, and one of the three largest networks in the country.

"We are sending a significant message that we intend to provide our customers with all the products and services they need, including newer products like home banking, off-line debit, and smart cards," said Mr. Yanak, former president of Yankee 24.

"We also intend to provide ATM terminal driving, and we're making a substantial investment in advanced processing hardware and software. Our service offerings will be very competitive."

Mr. Lynch's appointment, especially, demonstrates the sevenweek-old organization's commitment to marketing and strategy.

The 46-year-old Mr. Lynch, most recently a senior vice president at Fleet, replaces Thomas Honey, who left to pursue other interests.

Mr. Lynch will be working closely with Mr. Yanak and other executives on a three-pronged strategy to define strategic opportunities for the next three to five years, maximize existing products, and to determine emerging products.

"It's a very exciting time to be determining strategy," said Mr. Lynch. "We don't have any formulas. We're going to be looking at everything that's out there and determining what makes the most sense for our banks."

"These personnel announcements are a good sign," said Liam Carmody of Carmody & Bloom Inc., a Ridgewood, N.J.-based consulting firm. "They put the strongest people in the positions. Lynch, especially, is a pleasant surprise. He's got a good marketing background and a good strategic mind. He's well respected by both NYCE and Yankee 24 members."

Mr. Carmody also cited the decision to keep the NYCE mark as a smart move. "Replacing it would have been a bad business decision."

Although there had been discussion about replacing the NYCE mark with another brand name, Infinet's market research convinced it to keep the moniker.

"It's a very, very good logo, by virtue of its recognition and acceptability," said Mr. Yanak. "There is some recognition of the 'NY' being New York, but it is not a negative any more than the 'NY' in Nynex is negative."

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