CHARLOTTE — A few months after Wachovia Corp.'s newly hired president and chief executive vowed to keep it independent, his counterpart at the company that is buying Wachovia held a pep rally of sorts here Wednesday.

On a stage with columns of balloons sporting the Wells and Wachovia colors, Wells Fargo & Co.'s CEO, John Stumpf, sought to assure Wachovia staff members that, while there are "no guarantees," Wells would not undermine the Wachovia culture or weaken its work force.

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