New Tricks For An Old Tax Preparer

H&R Block wants to offer full-line financial services

Nearly 16 million Americans drop into H&R Block Inc. offices once a year to get their taxes done. If they could be lured back more often to get financial advice and home loans, buy mutual funds, and plan for retirement, the theory goes, they would be a gold mine of extra fee income. Charged with making this happen is COO Mark A. Ernst, 41, who becomes chief executive on Dec. 31, succeeding Frank L. Salizzoni. Ernst promises the company will serve "Middle America," the low-to mid-income market that most brokers and banks overlook in their scramble to attract wealthy clients.

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