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Another day - another merger! On Thursday, Wachovia (WB) -- which is the nation's fourth largest bank -- scooped up regional broker AG Edwards & Sons (AGE) for nearly $7 billion . Yes, that AG Edwards, the venerable 120-year old St. Louis-based brokerage house. What does that mean for the future of regional brokers?
Wachovia's $6.8 billion agreement to buy A.G. Edwards is likely to spur more acquisitions of independent brokerage firms, analysts say. The reason: banks are trying to bulk up on brokerage services, while traditional outfits like Edwards are dwindling in number and losing clients to cheaper online competitors.