SAN FRANCISCO - For the last year Chase Manhattan Corp. has proclaimed its intent to join the top tier of companies in investment banking, and particularly in underwriting and advising companies in the New Economy. It often holds up its acquisition of the emerging growth specialist Hambrecht & Quist Group as a key to that strategy.

With J.P. Morgan & Co. and its roster of blue-chip investment banking clients, does the story change? Maybe not.

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