Prudential Securities Inc. on Monday confirmed long-held expectations that it would significantly curb its investment banking business to focus on research and brokerage.

The shift comes amid sweeping change at its parent company, Prudential Insurance Co. of America, which said Monday that it plans to convert from mutual to stock ownership. Prudential Securities, which would continue to operate as an investment bank on a much smaller scale, would focus mainly on its retail financial services such as asset management, retail brokerage, and investment research.

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