When Philip Tasho agreed three years ago to return to Riggs National Corp. to oversee its money management operation, there was one big condition.

"I said that in order for me to come back, we need to have a structure to make us a true investment advisory firm that just happens to be owned by a bank," said Mr. Tasho, who had been head of equities for the Washington- based institution before leaving in 1994 to work for Shawmut National Corp., Boston.

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