CHARLOTTE, N.C. - First Union Securities has beefed up its expertise in auto loan securitization by hiring away a Charlotte-based team from Banc of America Securities.

The First Union Corp. unit hired Curt Sidden and Steve Ellis as directors, Chad Kobos as a vice president, and two analysts, Ryan Jackson and James Brinkley, said to Bennett Cole, a managing director in the unit's asset-backed finance division.

The five were part of Banc of America Securities' auto finance sector.

"This is a very large addition to our team," Mr. Cole said. "I think we now clearly have one of the top two or three consumer ABS [asset-backed securities] teams."

Mr. Sidden had worked with Mr. Cole when the two were at NationsBank Capital Markets.

A Bank of America spokeswoman declined to comment.

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