Montgomery Securities, which advised First Chicago Corp. for its merger with NBD Corp., was the No. 1 adviser, based on deal values, for midwestern bank mergers and acquisitions in 1995, according to SNL Securities.

San Francisco-based Montgomery, also adviser to Charter One Financial Corp. for its acquisition of Firstfed Michigan Corp., was the leader with two deals valued at $5.7 billion.

Lazard Freres & Co. of New York was the second largest with one deal - the First Chicago-NBD deal valued at $5.1 billion. Lazard Freres advised NBD.

Montgomery and Lazard Freres were also the top two merger advisers in the Midwest in 1994, having both worked on the $2.3 billion acquisition of Continental Bank of Chicago by BankAmerica Corp. Goldman, Sachs & Co., which placed No. 7 in 1995, was third in 1994 for its role in the Continental sale.

Morgan Stanley & Co. was ranked third in the SNL survey for its part working for National Australia Bank Ltd.'s $1.5 billion takeover of Michigan National Corp. CS First Boston Corp., ranked No. 6 by SNL, also received advisory credit for its part counseling National Australia.

Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette worked on four deals worth $1.9 billion, the largest being Boatmen's Bancshares's $1.2 billion takeover of Fourth Financial Corp.

Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc. reported three deals valued at $1.7 billion, including the National Australia-Michigan National deal, in which the firm advised the Michigan company.

The firms were ranked based on the cumulative totals of their deals. The totals reflect deals announced in 1995, some of which have not been made final.

In years past, regional merger advisers have placed higher on the SNL list, but because of the number of large deals announced in 1995, all but one of the top 10 were East or West Coast firms. Stifel Nicolaus & Co. of St. Louis was the sole Midwest company, placing 10th on the list, having worked on three deals worth $408 million.

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