Upon learning First Commerce Corp. was being sold, brokerage chief William G. Perkins knew it was time to jump ship.

Starting June 29, he will take the helm of another bank brokerage- Synovus Securities Inc.-as chairman, president, and chief executive officer. Monday was his last day at First Commerce's Marquis Investments subsidiary.

"It was the best place I ever worked," Mr. Perkins said of New Orleans- based First Commerce, which was acquired June 12 by Banc One Corp., Columbus, Ohio. "I would not have left had the company not been sold."

Mr. Perkins said he had heard about Synovus through an executive recruiter who contacted him in the spring. He said he got four offers from Wall Street securities firms and one from another bank, though he declined to name them.

In his new post, he will be responsible for retail and institutional investment services throughout the parent company, Synovus Financial Corp., Columbus, Ga., which has $9.4 billion of assets.

The job has been vacant since Guy L. Sexton 3d returned to a broker post at Synovus Securities about two years ago.

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