In today's consolidating markets, financial institutions can create shareholder value by using mergers and acquisitions to cut costs and increase profits. Analysts and investors put a premium on companies that efficiently deliver promised cost cuts with their acquisitions.

This applies to acquisition strategies throughout the industrialized world. But it is particularly true in the United States, where landmark legislation has removed regulatory obstacles to integrated financial services companies, and in Europe, where a new wave of banking consolidation is now starting.

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