WILSON, N.C. - Mergers of equals have not enjoyed a good reputation in the banking industry. These deals in which neither side pays a premium to the other have often foundered on ego conflicts and poor financial performance.

John A. Allison 4th, chairman and CEO of BB&T Financial Corp., wants to prove to a skeptical world that the pending union of BB&T and Southern National Corp. will be the one that really pays off.

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