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By Published on .

Ann finucane isn't an investment banker, but she's built a career on financial mergers.

Effective this fall, Ms. Finucane, 45, becomes director of corporate marketing and communications at the new Fleet Boston Corp., created by the marriage of Fleet Financial Group and BankBoston. There, she'll oversee corporate-wide marketing for a $180 billion financial services giant with 20 million customers from New England to Patagonia.

This marks her second career shift resulting from a corporate union. She became senior VP-director of corporate marketing and communications at Fleet in 1995 after the bank merged with Shawmut Bank. At the time of that merger, she was an independent marketing consultant working with Shawmut.

Now, Ms. Finucane will oversee a combined annual marketing budget estimated at $250 million and incursions into new markets for Fleet, such as Latin America, where BankBoston already has a presence.

"We have a more diversified portfolio, now that we're together," said Ms. Finucane.


Fleet has a stronger focus on its consumer businesses, through retail banking, credit cards and discount broker Quick & Reilly. For its part, BankBoston has a stronger franchise in the private banking and investment management arena, as well as a larger global presence.

Ms. Finucane began her career in the '70s as a public information officer in the mayor's office of cultural affairs in Boston, then moved to a post as creative director at Boston's WBZ-TV before joining Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulous as executive producer of TV. After 14 years at the agency, where she worked with such clients as BayBanks and John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co., she started her own consultancy which eventually led to a post at Fleet.


Ms. Finucane's appointment becomes effective when the merger is completed this fall. Meantime, she is building a marketing team made up of executives from both banks, overseeing a review of the merged organization's branding, and supervising an extensive agency roster.

That includes her alma mater, Hill Holliday, which handles BankBoston. Its Boston neighbor, Arnold Advertising remains Fleet's lead agency, but tops a long roster of shops, including Heater Advertising, Boston (for its private banking unit); Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. (SureTrade); Publicis, New York (Quick & Reilly); and Blau Marketing Technologies, Wilton, Conn., and Devon Direct Marketing & Advertising, Berwyn, Pa., for its credit card direct marketing.

Hill Holliday also is evaluating the Fleet brands with an eye to positioning the company after the merger, Ms. Finucane said.

Executives close to the bank say the agency roster will be thinned out in the process. Only the direct assignments are expected to remain the same.

"There will be some advertising expression" of the merger once it's done, said Ms. Finucane. Name changes among the parent company and its units are also possible, but the final identity should reflect the strengths of both companies,

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