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Crown prince of the jungle

Wall Street is competing with an 800-pound gorilla. That's the label attached to Chase as it wrestles investment banking mandates from traditional players. Even by US standards Chase is noted for being aggressive. And its great strength is the lending capability that helps it win both bond and M&A deals. Will it eventually be king? By Michelle Celarier.

When Westinghouse Electric decided to sell its defence unit last year to pay off the $5.5 billion in debt its acquisition of CBS had required, it felt there was only one place to go: the new Chase Manhattan Bank. "We didn't want any uncertainty," says Fred Reynolds, Westinghouse's chief financial officer.

Westinghouse was looking for a cash deal, and wanted to make sure that the buyer would be able to come up with the money. Chase, with its expertise in lending to the defence industry, was well placed to review potential bidders. The bank recommended Northrop Grumman, even though its BBB rated balance sheet made Reynolds a bit nervous.

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