AMEX TO SPIN OFF FINANCIAL ADVISORS BUSINESS: American Express Co. said that it will spin off its American Express Financial Advisors unit to shareholders to focus on its credit card, charge card and travel services businesses.Shareholders would receive 100 percent of the common shares of the company, which would be renamed American Express Financial Corp. AmEx said that it expects to complete the transaction in the third quarter.

"This spin-off will create two distinct businesses and allow them to capitalize on their respective growth opportunities," said Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer of American Express. "As an independent company, AEFA would not have to compete for capital or management resources with other American Express businesses, and therefore would be able to react more quickly to market opportunities for new products, partnerships and expansion."

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