Webster Bank of Waterbury, Conn., has made staff and operational changes to bolster its fledgling trust department.

The $9.2 billion-asset bank has hired several executives and updated its operating system, said Thomas N. Howe, chief executive of Webster's trust arm. It is also consolidating offices, he said.

The department, which has $700 million of assets, was formed in August 1997.

We've been "repositioning and restructuring the entire trust organization almost from top to bottom," said Mr. Howe, who joined the bank in June.

The new executives oversee operations, giving the trust department a good mix of veteran employees and new blood, he said.

James P. Alfieri, 41, joined Webster in October as chief investment officer. Before that he was a senior portfolio manager with YHB Investment Advisors, West Hartford, Conn.

Michael J. Tucker, 50, was hired in September as sales manager. He was a senior vice president and national sales director of retirement plan services sales and marketing for Fleet Investment Management, Boston.

In May, James P. Carley, 49, became chief operating officer. He was a senior vice president at Fleet Bank and the manager of marketing and sales for its private client group.

The trust department has also changed operating system providers to SEI Investments of Oaks, Pa., from SunGard Trust Systems Inc. of Charlotte, N.C.

Mr. Howe said the new system offers the same quality and timeliness available to large-bank competitors.

Meanwhile, the bank is consolidating its five trust offices into two. Having a main office in Kensington, Conn., and a satellite office in Greenwich, Conn., is more cost-efficient, a spokesman said.

Mr. Howe said he is also working to develop incentive compensation plans, training programs, and an internal newsletter.

"We have an organization that's positioned for the future," the spokesman said.

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