He's ba-aaack. Peter Cohen, former chairman of Shearson Lehman Brothers, has resurfaced as vice-chairman of Republic New York and chairman of its new securities unit. Republic's largest shareholder, Edmond Safra, has had a notoriously stormy relationship with Shearson parent American Express.

Now, Safra apparently wants Cohen to help expand his bank's U.S. presence with Republic New York Securities, which will competewith Shearson. Cohen told BUSINESS WEEK that he's not planning to go head-to-head with his former employer. But he'll be working with several former Shearson colleagues, including Louis Lloyd, whois now the securities unit's president.

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