First Union Corp. has named a national sales manager for its brokerage subsidiary.

Anthony M. Saponaro, 36, moved into the post this month. He had been Northeast regional sales manager for First Union Brokerage Services Inc. and, before that, sales manager for First Fidelity Bancorp.'s brokerage.

Before Mr. Saponaro's promotion, Dwight Moody, president of First Union Brokerage, had discharged the responsibilities of national sales manager. The post had been vacant more than a year after the short tenure of W. Anthony Turner, who left First Union for Bisys Fund Services in March 1996.

Mr. Saponaro reports to Mr. Moody.

The brokerage unit president said of Mr. Saponaro in a telephone interview: "After working with him for over a year, it became clear he had all the characteristics" of a national sales manager. Since Mr. Saponaro joined First Union, he has hired and trained more than 1,000 sales representatives, Mr. Moody said.

In his new post, Mr. Saponaro will manage First Union's 380 Series 7 sales representatives and its 2,800 Series 6 branch employees.Among his responsibilities will be to sell investments to the banking company's 12 million customers, Mr. Moody said, by working with other divisions of the company, such as the private and commercial banking groups.

Mr. Saponaro, who was one of First Union's five regional sales managers, worked at Citibank from 1986 to 1994.

While at Citi, he was regional sales manager for retail investment products in Los Angeles and later in Washington, D.C. He has a master degree in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

One of the things that impressed Mr. Moody about Mr. Saponaro was the smooth transition he helped his First Fidelity team make into the First Union franchise, said Mr. Moody. First Union completed its acquisition of First Fidelity Jan. 2, 1996.

A successor to Mr. Saponara as Northeast regional sales manager has not yet been named, Mr. Moody said.

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