When Travelers Group combined its Smith Barney Holdings with Salomon Brothers, it created a formidable force in the high-yield market. It had the largest sales and trading operation on the Street, and big ambitions for the coming year.

Salomon Smith Barney took fifth place in junk bond underwriting for 1997, raising $8.6 billion from 54 deals, and scooping up an 8.4% market share, according to Securities Data Co.

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