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Wells Fargo & Co. is stepping up its presence in the St. Louis area, raiding Commerce Bank of one of its brightest stars, Paul Kalsbeek.
Kalsbeek, Commerce's top commercial lender, will establish a regional commercial banking office for Wells Fargo that will compete with Firstar Corp., Bank of America and LaSalle National Bank for the business of area mid-size companies.
Kalsbeek 43 said he was willing to bet his future on Wells Fargo because the bank the sixth-largest in the United States, has even bigger plans for this area.
"Part of the ultimate objective is to own banks here," Kalsbeek said. "I'm pulling together and expanding the resources that are here and helping to lay the …