ven as Wachovia
was busy trumpeting what is effectively an acquisition of Prudential's brokerage arm, US Bancorp
was telling investors that it will spin-off its Piper Jaffrey brokerage unit. The moves show some of the confusion the bear market is sowing around the real-world value of captive distribution.
The consensus is that US Bancorp is spinning off Piper Jaffrey because it discovered integrating the brokerage's business was too difficult. Jerry A. Grundhofer, chairman, president and chief executive of U.S. Bancorp, told analysts yesterday that Piper Jaffrey's business is more volatile and less predictable.
The bank bought the Minneapolis-based brokerage firm in 1998 for a reported $730 million. Grundhofer added that the bank did not entertain or seek and offers for the brokerage unit.
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