Sandy's Triumph

Travelers joins Wall Street's elite with the marriage of Solly and Smith Barney

Sanford I. Weill is a compulsive tape-watcher, and on Sept. 24, the day of his greatest triumph, the numbers veritably leapt off the stock-quote machines. Before the opening bell, Weill's Travelers Group Inc. announced a deal to purchase Salomon Inc. for $9 billion. Soon, the nation's premier bond-trading firm will be joined with Smith Barney Inc., a large retail brokerage firm, under the Travelers umbrella. For Weill, the reaction on Wall Street--the object of his dreams, ambitions, and envy for four decades--could hardly have been sweeter. By day's end, Salomon stock was up 6.6% on massive volume. Shares of Travelers, up 96% in the past year, fell just 3.6%, to 69 1/2.

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