- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Benjamin Edwards III

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Benjamin Edwards III, who presided over A.G. Edwards as it grew from a St. Louis regional brokerage firm into one of the largest in the nation, has died. He was 77.

Edwards, of St. Louis, died Monday of prostate cancer at a second home in Naples, Fla., his son Benjamin “Tad” Edwards IV said.

Edwards was the great-grandson of the company’s founder, Albert Gallatin Edwards, a former assistant secretary of the treasury under Abraham Lincoln who started the firm in 1887.

It was Benjamin Edwards III, who joined the firm in 1956, who presided over its greatest period of growth. He became managing partner a decade later and president in 1967.

Under Edwards’ leadership, A.G. Edwards grew from 44 offices with 300 financial consultants in 1965 to nearly 700 offices and 7,000 financial consultants by the time he retired in 2001.

Wachovia Corp. acquired A.G. Edwards for $6.8 billion in 2007. The combined brokerage unit, Wachovia Securities, became the second-largest American retail brokerage by number of brokers.

Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia Corp. late last year.

(This version CORRECTS son’s name to Benjamin `Tad’ Edwards IV instead of III.)

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