Liberty Financial Cos., a leading partner of banks that sell mutual funds and annuities, has tightened its grip on the business by acquiring a firm that provides brokerage services to banks.

The purchase of Independent Financial Marketing Group, White Plains, N.Y., is expected to double Liberty's list of banking clients to about 198. Among them are KeyCorp and Citicorp, which rely on Independent for help in running slices of their investment sales businesses.

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