Monumental Life Insurance Company has weathered many storms during its 142-year history, but none was more formidable than the Baltimore, Md.-based company's June 1997 acquisition of Providian Agency Group, a company three times its size.

Everyone knows what can happen when companies merge. This department is out; that one is in. Tensions can run high as one corporate culture swallows another. Meeting managers have to adapt to new procedures and answer to a new team of senior officers

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