s Wachovia ready to merge its brokerage arm with Prudential Financial? That is the suggestion made in today's New York Post
. The paper speculates that a merger of the units "may be just around the corner." The paper adds that Wachovia would control the joint venture and Prudential would retain just a minority interest.
Reports of the talks are also carried today in a brief report in the Washington Post
, which cites "people familiar with the negotiations." Bloomberg News
has also carried a report on the rumored talks.
The combined entity would be the nation's second largest brokerage in terms of financial advisors. It would rank behind Merrill Lynch.
The proof offered by the Post is that senior management has told Wachovia's brokerage branch managers that they should close any employment offers made to Prudential brokers "as soon as possible." That order may hint of merger talks between the two firms. It is standard practice for firms to sign non-solicitation agreements once formal talks are underway. The Post first reported on possible talks between Wachovia and Prudential last month.
The paper did not include official comments from either Prudential or Wachovia.
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