The flurry of merger activity between U.S. banks and securities firms trumpets what has become increasingly clear in banking and financial services: Commercial banks must now operate in a world dominated by competitors with a universal set of lending and capital-raising products.

The relaxation of Glass-Steagall rules and the de facto convergence of financial services capabilities is rapidly causing huge changes in corporate banking strategies, capabilities, and models for relationship management, particularly in the middle-market arena.

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