Lost in the fanfare of the costliest merger agreement in U.S. banking history-bringing together $204 billion of assets and more than 2,700 branches up and down the East Coast-was its considerable impact on First Union Corp.'s corporate side.

First Union will firmly establish itself as a member of the wholesale banking elite. And these activities will be overseen by none other than Terrence A. Larsen, who as CoreStates Financial Corp.'s chief executive officer long resisted exactly the kind of deal his board ratified this week.

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