Salomon Brothers' mortgage unit, which traces its roots to the early 1980s when the brash innovator Lewis S. Ranieri pioneered the mortgage- backed securities business, will apparently survive the firm's merger into Travelers Corp.

In some instances where the two firms overlap, people at Smith Barney, a unit of Travelers, have been the ones to keep their jobs. But Salomon's reputation as a bond powerhouse and the mortgage desk's strong performance recently have positioned the trading unit to ride out the consolidation.

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