Everen Securities Inc., Chicago, and Firstar Corp., Milwaukee, said Tuesday they have agreed to an affiliation in which they will refer business to each other.

Firstar, which has no securities underwriting powers, said the arrangement would allow it to offer equity and debt underwriting and advisory services to its corporate and municipal customers.

The companies said the arrangement is effective immediately, but won't be at full steam for several months. Neither company is committing capital to the arrangement, they added.

First Chicago NBD Corp. has a similar arrangement with Robert W. Baird & Co., a Milwaukee securities firm.

Firstar, which has $20 billion of assets, opted for the affiliation after looking into buying or building an investment banking business, said Richard Schoenke, senior executive vice president for commercial banking. Teaming up with Everen proved less costly and time-consuming than the alternatives, he said.

Everen has been seeking to expand since it was spun off from Zurich Kemper Investments in 1995. On Monday, Everen said it would pay $75 million for a brokerage unit of Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, Iowa. That deal is expected to close in January.

-Brett Chase

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