More Wachovia, Less Prudential

Consolidation of management positions continues apace at Wachovia with the departure of two regional presidents and the firm's former broker advocate. All three are former Prudential managers, marking a continuation of a trend in which Pru managers lose their seats to Wachovia's in the post-merger reorganization. But at least one observer declines to characterize it as a purge of Pru executives. It

Consolidation of management positions continues apace at Wachovia with the departure of two regional presidents and the firm's former “broker advocate.”

All three are former Prudential managers, marking a continuation of a trend in which Pru managers lose their seats to Wachovia's in the post-merger reorganization. But at least one observer declines to characterize it as a purge of Pru executives.

“It just seems like the basic restructuring with all the combination of offices,” one recruiter pointed out. “It's to be expected.”

Recently, Rick Capozzi, regional president for Wachovia's northeast region, which includes New England and upstate New York, resigned to accept a position at Merrill Lynch, although it is currently unknown in what capacity. A search is underway to replace Capozzi, who had joined Pru in May 2002.

Meanwhile, Bob Drake, who was the regional president for Florida, also has resigned from the firm. Drake joined Prudential in Pennsylvania in 1997 before being transferred to Florida. He is replaced on an interim basis by Scot Winter, a 10-year veteran who worked as a Wachovia regional officer in Newport Beach, Calif.

In addition, Tom Owens, a field advocate for Pru, is scheduled to leave the firm as well. His position is being assumed by the private client services group headed by David Kowach at Wachovia, according to a firm spokesman. Owens, a 30-year Pru vet, was reportedly a confidante of Michael Rice, the former president of the private client group. Rice was second in command at the outset of the merger, but elected to leave in late 2003. Jim Donley, a 35-year veteran of Wachovia's predecessors, replaced him. There have been rumors that more regional managers with ties to Prudential will be forced out in coming months, but so far those could not be confirmed.

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