DALLAS - Kansas City, Mo.-based Stern Brothers & Co. has signed a letter of intent to merge with a new firm owned by black women in a deal that would make Stern a minority-owned brokerage for the first time in its 75-year history.

James Allen, co-chairman of Stern Brothers, said Friday the final terms of the merger with Lewis, Sims & Letterman of Kansas City, Mo., could be competed within 30 days.

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