Vermont's fast-growing Chittenden Corp. has parted ways with its chief financial officer, after 14 years.

Nancy Rowden Brock no longer saw eye to eye with president Paul A. Perrault on how to manage the $1.9 billion-asset company, so "the time had come to make a change," Chittenden said in a press release.

The parting "stems from a review of where we're going, how the company is organized, what kinds of skills we're going to need to continue the success that we've had," Mr. Perrault said in an interview.

"We decided that it was time to agree to disagree and part ways as friends."

Ms. Brock, reached by phone, confirmed the differences in philosophy and added that she wished to pursue other interests.

Such disagreements have become more common with merger mania sweeping the industry, technology spreading, and small banks expanding far beyond their traditional turf.

And much of the pressure falls on the chief financial officer, who usually handles the structuring, financing, converting, and coordinating of a transaction, said Chris Hargrove of Professional Bank Services in Louisville, Ky. In addition, CFOs still must oversee the subsidiaries, cut costs, and keep on top of new technology.

That's especially true for companies with $1 billion to $3 billion of assets, like Chittenden. They are doing most of the acquiring.

"A lot of times when you have these companies that are really growing, the CFO position is the most demanding position in the bank," Mr. Hargrove said. "The company outgrows that person. It takes a pretty dynamic person to be a CFO for a company of that size and that's growing so fast."

Chittenden, one of the largest banks based in Vermont, has been pushing well into neighboring Massachusetts over the past two years, buying Springfield-based Bank of Western Massachusetts in March 1995 and Worcester-based Flagship Bank and Trust Co. in February 1996.

"We're a lot more complex than we used to be," Mr. Perrault said. "I see that as something that is going to be continuing."

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