Wachovia, Fifth Biggest Brokerage, Searching for More Reps

Expect Wachovia Securities to raise its profile in coming months following the Charlotte-based bank’s merger with First Union.

Expect Wachovia Securities to raise its profile in coming months following the Charlotte-based bank’s merger with First Union. In terms of client assets, Wachovia Securities ranks fifth among brokerage firms with $275 billion, but is hardly ever mentioned in the same sentence as the four wirehouses ranked above it.

However, the company, which has more than 8,000 registered representatives, will be advertising its reach and capability as a brokerage firm in coming months more actively once certain post-merger integrations are taken care of, says Don McMullen, head of Wachovia’s capital management group, which includes the retail brokerage. He says after having grown through a series of acquisitions, the firm wants to attract experienced brokers comfortable working in a variety of environments, and that Wachovia, too, is looking to build out its fee-based practice.

For the representative, he says the firm wants to create an environment that’s viewed as one of choice—that is, for brokers more comfortable working at a traditional full-service center, or at a bank branch, or through its contracts with independent broker/dealers.

"We want (reps) to understand that if they’re not real crazy about cold calling, then working in a bank branch is great," he recently said. "We want it to be seen as a firm of choice…this summer, you’ll start seeing some ads for Wachovia Securities."

The firm recently announced the launch of a new ad campaign designed to promote the company’s banking, lending and brokerage services.

Wachovia currently has 3,700 series 7 registered representatives in 49 states at its full-service brokerage branches; the others are divided up amongst the bank brokerage, quasi-independents, and independent financial advisors.

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