TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Dr. M. Lee Pearce, prominent investor in Florida banks, has formed an investment banking firm with Cliff Hinkle, former director of the state of Florida's $41 billion pension and investment fund.

Dr. Pearce, who has been the largest single shareholder in such companies as AmeriFirst Federal Savings Bank of Miami and the defunct Southeast Banking Corp., will be the firm's chairman. Mr. Hinkle will be president and chief executive officer.

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