In 1993, the end of an era was marked at Wachovia Corp. - and in the entire banking industry - with the partial retirement of John G. Medlin Jr.

Mr. Medlin, 60, relinquished his chief executive title at yearend to L.M. "Bud" Baker Jr., his chosen successor. Mr. Medlin will stay on as chairman for at least another two years, but his 17-year reign as Wachovia's hands-on top manager is clearly behind him.

He leaves on a high note. Wachovia, which is based in Winston-Salem, N.C., earned a record $492 million in 1993, up 14% from $433 million the previous year. Return on assets was 1.46%, a typically stellar performance. Need we say more?

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