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Wachovia's Task Is Keeping Brokers

Some financial analysts say Wachovia's planned purchase of A.G. Edwards will present a challenge for the Charlotte bank.

Wachovia's seven billion dollars purchase of A.G. Edwards will create the nation's second largest brokerage firm.

Gerard Cassidy with R-B-C Capital Markets says the biggest challenge in a merger is keeping top brokers. Cassidy says A.G. Edwards will have to pay their top producers to stay. He says brokers going through the transition may consider moving.

Wachovia executives said yesterday they expect to lose no more than three percent of the brokers they want to keep.

Cassidy says the bigger question is how to retain A.G. Edward's most prized brokers, those who produce at least 800-thousand dollars in commissions and fees each year.


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