First Union Corp. has hired 22 annuity wholesalers from Essex Financial Corp. to bring its annuity sales efforts closer to home.

"They thought we did such a good job recruiting and training people, they took our wholesalers," said Kevin Crowe, chairman of Essex. The New York-based firm will continue to train and support the Charlotte, N.C.- based banking company's 3,000 annuity sales field representatives, as it has for the last three years.

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