Back in 1991, when NationsBank Corp. bought C&S Sovran Corp. in one of the largest banking deals of its day, no fewer than four Wall Street investment banks advised the growing Charlotte, N.C., superregional.

But when NationsBank said 10 days ago it would buy Boatmen's Bancshares in the nation's third-largest bank merger ever - at a 41% premium - no investment bankers were on board as advisers.

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