The man who doubled the size of Wichita, Kan.-based Fourth Financial Corp. and then sold it to Boatmen's Bancshares, will step down as chairman early next year.

Darrell G. Knudson, 58, is resigning as chief executive and president of Fourth Financial - Boatmen's Kansas subsidiary - effective July 31 and will retire as chairman of the unit early next year. Robert W. Wightman, president of community banking at Fourth Financial, will succeed him in all three posts.

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