First Union Corp. said Monday that it plans to buy Everen Capital Corp. for $1.1 billion, a move that would bolster its already formidable presence in retail brokerage.

With the addition of the Chicago firm, First Union would expand its roster of licensed retail securities brokers by 42%, to 6,259. That would place the Charlotte, N.C., banking company sixth in the field, just behind PaineWebber Group Inc. and ahead of A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. It now ranks 10th, according to the Securities Industry Association.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.