As far as Dain Bos-worth analysts are concerned, money-centers may as well not exist. In their territory from the Pacific Northwest to the upper Midwest, analysts Ben Crabtree and Jay Tejera have found reason to believe that small banks can prosper among the giants.

"The banking industry in my markets is very different than in others," said Mr. Crabtree, who works from Dain's Minneapolis headquarters. "Here they are retailers of financial services rather than managers of massive money flows. I pay a lot of attention to positioning and market niches and marketing skills."

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