Fleet Financial Group has hired James P. Tylenda to run its credit card business.
The 47-year-old executive was lured from Bank of New York Delaware, where he was marketing director of the credit card portfolio for two years.
Mr. Tylenda was involved in bringing the Consumers Edge Grace card, modeled after American Express's Optima True Grace, to market as well as Bank of New York's first cobranded venture, the Toys R Us Visa.
Mr. Tylenda, who assumed the position of senior vice president this week, has been in the card business since 1980, when he managed First Chicago Corp.'s merchant bank card program. After that, he worked at Citibank, as director of bank card account acquisitions, where he launched the successful American Advantage card.
He replaces A. Christian Fredrick Jr., who left Fleet more than a year ago to join MasterCard International.
Katrina Blecher, vice president of Gruntal & Co., a Wall Street brokerage firm, called Mr. Tylenda's appointment "a coup for Fleet."
She noted his "great reputation working at Bank of New York" and said his ability to keep losses low and processing costs down was instrumental to the bank's portfolio.
Anita Boomstein, a partner at New York law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed who represented Toys R Us in its cobranding negotiations, said the seasoned executive "will bring added dimension to Fleet's program, enhance their team, and enable them to expand even more."
Fleet Financial's bank card program, the 30th largest in the nation, has been growing at a good clip. In 1991, receivables totaled $250 million. By the second quarter of 1995 receivables totaled $1.6 billion, with more than 1.3 million accounts.
The Rhode Island-based bank markets cards mostly to the Northeast, with branches in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. It has introduced two cobranded programs, with Caldor and Gulf.
Mr. Tylenda, said he will develop "a strategy and vision for the business" after he becomes more familiar with his staff and the bank's infrastructure.
"I have to understand the nature of what's gone on in past," he said, "and leverage it against opportunities for the future."