Dudley M. Nigg, who has led Wells Fargo & Co.'s aggressive foray into high-tech initiatives like Internet banking and smart cards since 1994, will retire at yearend, the bank announced yesterday.

Under Mr. Nigg's watch, Wells Fargo became the first to offer on-line banking through the Internet in May 1995. As executive vice president in charge of the bank's on-line financial services division, Mr. Nigg also launched Internet trading, and various pilots of smart card and electronic bill presentment technology.

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