CHICAGO - As Wells Fargo & Co. and Wachovia Corp. fuse their municipal operations into one this year, the bank expects to join the ranks of regional names to crack the top 10 list of senior managers, newly named municipal manager Phil Smith said last week.

Prior to the closing of Wells' acquisition of Wachovia at the end of 2008, both firms had hired in the last year public finance professionals displaced amid the steep layoffs and exit from the municipal business of some Wall Street firms.

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