King of The Street

Sandy Weill's megadeal with American Express augurs a brokerage war

WHO SAYS YOU CAN NEVER GO HOME AGAIN? EVER since Sanford Weill sold Shearson Loeb Rhoades, the brokerage firm that he created, to American Express in 1981, he has longed to regain control of the company. After several failed attempts, Weill finally hit pay dirt when Primerica Corp., where he serves as chairman, acquired financially ailing Shearson Lehman Bros. in a $1.2 billion deal that ranks as the largest in the history of the securities business.

By combining Shearson with Primerica's Smith Barney, the acquisition will create a Wall Street powerhouse that poses a serious threat to industry leader Merrill Lynch....

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