Firstar Corp. of Milwaukee has sued a team of investment advisers who defected from its St. Louis institutional investment management firm last month to a newly formed unit of First Banks Inc.

Firstar, which last week agreed to purchase U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis, accused 21 former employees of its Mississippi Valley Advisors. The suit names five of them, but Firstar's attorney in the suit said more of the 21 would be named.

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