By acquiring A.G. Edwards, Wachovia Corp. will gain $1.1 trillion in client assets and almost 15,000 financial advisers. Wachovia shelled out $6.8 billion to buy the national brokerage.The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year and the integration should be complete by first quarter of 2009.

The combined firm will now have a national footprint of 3,350 brokerage locations, including 1,500 dedicated retail offices.

“The long-term growth opportunities of the brokerage industry are extremely compelling to Wachovia, and we have long expressed our interest in growing this business both organically and through acquisition,” said Ken Thompson, Wachovia chairman and CEO.

President and CEO of Wachovia Securities Daniel Ludeman will remain in command of the combined brokerage. Robert Bagby, chairman and CEO of A.G. Edwards, will serve as chairman of the combined unit.

The retail brokerage organization will be headquartered in St. Louis. The A.G. Edwards name will cease and operate as Wachovia Securities.

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