"If I didn't keep my guard up all the time," Railroader Robert R. Young once said, "those goddammed bankers would scalp me in a minute." Last week, with a characteristic bit of footwork and his guard still high, scrappy little Bob Young pranced into the center of the ring looking like an investment banker himself.

By laying out a mere $1,750,000, Young's Alleghany Corp. bought control of Minneapolis' Investors Diversified Services, Inc., the giant catch-all which includes three big investment trusts having assets of $580 million.* It was the same kind of shoestring...

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