And he's not finished yet. "Centura wasn't the last acquisition," a spokesman says. "We're still looking."

With little room for expansion in Canada, and with the government having vetoed mergers among the nation's handful of large banks, the U.S. is Cleghorn's natural area for expansion. Even before his deal to buy Centura, Royal last year agreed to acquire Dain Rauscher Corp., the Minneapolis-based broker, and bought Chicago-based Prism Financial Corp., a mortgage banking and brokerage firm, and Liberty Corp. of Greenville, SC.

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