Evergreen Funds, First Union Corp.'s $80 billion fund unit, has hired a top brokerage executive from Chase Manhattan Corp to drive fund sales through bank branches.

Scott Bresky, who since 1998 had headed Chase's retail brokerage arm, Chase Investment Services Corp., joined the Charlotte, N.C., banking company this month as a senior vice president and national sales manager. He will help push fund sales through the bank's 2,300 branches.

First Union created the position just months after hiring Maryann Bruce from Allstate Insurance Co. to spearhead all proprietary fund sales. Mr. Bresky reports to Ms. Bruce, who is president of Evergreen Investment Services.

Last year First Union sold $6.5 billion of Evergreen Funds through its own branch network and through third-party brokers. This year the banking company is looking to increase sales by 25%.

Ms. Bruce said that her hiring and Mr. Bresky's are part of First Union's commitment to its fund program. "We're telling the marketplace that this is a very serious fund drive."

The banking company has an ambitious goal of breaking into the top 10 mutual fund company ranks within five years.

"We're No. 18 now and will put all our resources and talent into moving into a top-10 slot," Ms. Bruce said. "One of the ways of moving up is by hiring top talent and pointing them in the right direction."

At Chase Investment Services, Kathleen Rooney has succeeded Mr. Bresky as president.

Mr. Bresky said he felt the time was right in his career to make a move.

"I believe I will be able to leverage my bank and broker experience in a way that will produce sales for the Evergreen complex," he said. "There is a solid base and foundation at Evergreen, and the question now is how do you expand that to the next level."

First Union's commitment to its fund unit is evident from the resources the banking company is committing to personnel, according to analysts.

"You need a solid bench because there are so many others out there trying to sell their products," said Andrew Collins, a banking analyst with ING Barings LLC in New York. "One of one of the main goals is to instill a sales culture."

Mr. Bresky said he will do just this by working with the branch managers and other employees on the bank side of the company.

"We will show them this is a world-class complex that they should get behind."

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