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As RBS Guts Stamford Trading Staff, Small Shops Sense an Opening

Ron Kruszewski likes being a contrarian.

That’s how the chief executive officer of Stifel Financial Corp. explains his expansion into debt-trading and sales, even as some of the world’s biggest banks accelerate their retreat from the business. In fact, he’s doubling down on his expansion, with Stifel announcing its purchase of Sterne Agee Group Inc. this week, precisely because behemoth institutions are cutting back.