Seeking to improve its profitability and competitiveness in Europe, Dresdner Bank AG said Friday that it will separate its investment bank from its commercial bank but retain control of both.

In what it described as an internal "restructuring," Dresdner said the move will free the investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Benson to pursue a merger or acquisition to help build three target businesses: global equities, global markets, and corporate finance. Dresdner said the changes will help it meet a new return on equity goal of 15%.

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