Magazine article American Banker

1st Union Hiring 100 More Brokers to Slug It out with Major Houses

Magazine article American Banker

1st Union Hiring 100 More Brokers to Slug It out with Major Houses

Article excerpt

First Union Corp. plans to add 100 brokers to its 200-member staff as part of an ambitious effort to steal business from nonbank brokerages.

Dwight C. Moody, president of First Union Brokerage Services, is hoping to build a force over the next three years that can go toe-to-toe with those from the best regional and national houses. The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank will be recruiting brokers with Series 7 licenses, which entitles them to sell individual securities as well as mutual funds and annuities.

"We want people who can sell to Merrill Lynch customers and branch customers," Mr. Moody said.

But the banking company also wants to begin underwriting and distributing debt and equity issues like an investment banker. And if those powers are granted, these additional brokers would aid in the distribution effort, bank officials said.

W. Anthony Turner, the new senior vice president of First Union's brokerage unit, conceded that regulatory hurdles stand in the way of brokers being able to sell securities on the primary market.

"Even in the worse case, if these brokers are prohibited from selling these securities, we have a lot of bank customers that will need the services of these brokers," said Turner.

The staff-up is the latest drive by First Union to remain one of the industry's largest providers of investment products. The sales representatives offer a variety of investments, including the $7.2 billion dollar proprietary fund group made up of First Union and Evergreen funds. …

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