The story says, "Amazingly, Weill charmed J. P. Morgan--which, when Weill entered the business, had been virtually closed to Jews--into agreeing to merge. But as negotiations proceeded, Douglas A. Warner III, Morgan's chairman, insisted that, after a transition period, Weill would have to retire. A petulant Weill told a Wall Street colleague that Morgan 'would never sell to a Jew,'" the Times reported.

Insiders at Morgan confirm that Weill had made overtures to J.P.'s bank, saying that for years Weill had been in awe of Morgan. Weill first brought up the issue with Dennis Weatherstone, when he was Morgan's CEO. Weatherstone retired as chairman in 1995.

Reportedly, Weill brought the issue up with Douglas A. Warner III, Morgan's current CEO (who will be chairman of the newly merged J.P. Morgan Chase).

Morgan insiders say the reason Weill was turned down was because the bank didn't think that the insurance business could yield the kind of returns that Morgan sought.

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