Nothing so concentrates a manager's mind as the close attention of bank regulators. Just look at Shawmut National Corp.

Insiders say that the New England company used to be ruled with an iron hand by chairman Joel Alvord and president Gunnar Overstrom.

Organizational charts were a joke because all decisions and strategies descended from the duo at the top.

No more. The company distributed an organizational chart to employees on June 8 that shows a clear diversification of responsibilities and sets up several levels of accountability.

For example, if credit quality again goes astray, all fingers will point to Mr. Alvord. The chief credit officer, chief financial officer, and head of risk management report strictly to him.

The bank has also hired a host of outsiders - such as credit guru David L. Eyles from Mellon Bank Corp. and corporate banking specialist Allen W. Sanborn from Bank America Corp. - to democratize the management process.

Though they won't say it for the record, insiders and observers believe that the new structure was mandated by regulators,

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