From an office near that of First Union Corp.'s chairman, Austin A. Adams "sets what we call BHAGs-big, hairy audacious goals," said Richard C. Penland, senior vice president of service center operations.

"And he is serious," Mr. Penland said.

Limited Time Offer

Save $400 off your subscription. Special offer ends April 30, 2017.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.