FT Mortgage Cos. has agreed to acquire Elliot Ames Inc., a small retail mortgage banker based in Los Altos, Calif., according to James B. Witherow, president of the First Tennessee National Corp. unit.

The acquisition gives FT Mortgage, the 11th-largest originator last year, retail presence in California. It already has six wholesale offices in the state. Ames originated $1.7 billion of home loans from five San Francisco-area branches last year.

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