Before Fleet Financial Group announced in February that would acquire Shawmut National Corp., a number of analysts had been quietly saying that they were unimpressed with the results of a restructuring effort the Rhode Island company began more than a year ago.

Further, it was widely assumed that Fleet was looking to make some kind of a deal - either a merger of equals or selling out to a larger bank. And some have suggested that the now-completed reengineering, called Fleet Focus, was largely undertaken to move closer to that goal.

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