MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. -- Spencer Burke knows his place among investment bankers, and it is one that the can live with. "It's a food chain of investment banking," said Mr. Burke, a principal and head of investment banking at Edward D. Jones & Co. "You've got Goldman Sachs at the top, and we're somewhere near the bottom."

There is enough down there to keep him busy. The former bond lawyer and his staff of four municipal investment bankers handle the mammoth task of providing tax-exempt bonds for the country's largest network of retail offices -- 1,600 and growing.

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