Crestar Financial Corp.'s chief information officer, William M. Ginther, has a straightforward job description: help find the right combination of high-tech slingshots to fell the banking Goliaths roaming Crestar's home teritory.

"We are surrounded by giants," Mr. Ginther said, referring to the likes of Nationsbank Corp., First Union Corp., and even mighty Citicorp - all looking covetously at Crestar's increasingly prosperous home market in and around Virginia. "We've got to be a very nimble organization in order not to get stepped on.

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