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The kindest cut

In 1984 Joe Gregory offered 25-year-old Brad Jack a $21,000-a-year job in Lehman Brothers, commercial paper division.

Jack was already making $25,000 at Bank of America,s corporate banking division, but Gregory convinced him that a jump to Lehman would further his career.

Good advice. Last month Jack, now 43 and co-head of investment banking at Lehman, and Gregory, the firm,s 50-year-old chief administrative officer, were promoted to co,chief operating officers.

Will the friends one day find themselves vying for 56-year-old CEO Dick Fuld's job? The two say they won,t do battle. "We,re less concerned with each other than we are with the guys nipping at our heels," jokes Jack. "There's a deep bench of talent here." Declares Gregory, "Dick will be doing that job vibrantly for another ten years, probably long enough for his son Rich to take over. He will be here longer than us."

Rich Fuld, 17, has not disclosed his plans.