The incoming head of Evergreen Funds' distribution system will have a much bigger system to work with.

Maryann Bruce will start as the president of Evergreen Distributors Inc. on Oct. 1 -- the same day that the parent, First Union Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., is to buy Everen Capital Corp., a Chicago broker-dealer.

The $1.1 billion deal would boost Evergreen's staff of brokers, now fewer than 2,000, to 6,300.

Ms. Bruce was hired from Allstate Insurance Co., where she led efforts to sell through third parties. She had joined Allstate last October from OppenheimerFunds, whose funds she had helped make leading sellers through banks.

At Evergreen she will take over duties now handled by Michael Treske, the president of Evergreen Investment Services. Mr. Treske is to stay with the company as a key account manager, said William M. Ennis, managing director.

Evergreen Funds are sold by Everen, by First Union sales reps, and by Wheat First Securities Inc., First Union's Richmond, Va.-based brokerage unit. They are also sold through third-party broker-dealers and directly to institutions.

Evergreen also manages assets in subaccounts for variable annuities.

Having all that distribution muscle will be "an extremely pleasant experience," Mr. Ennis said, "and we need to make sure we take full advantage.''

The company aims to reach $100 billion of assets by next year. It now has $77 billion.

Ms. Bruce was picked for her new post because of her visibility, her reputation in the industry, and her leadership skills, Mr. Ennis said. "Maryann has a strong resume and success in building high-performance sales companies.''

Ms. Bruce will move to Charlotte from New York, Mr. Ennis said. She will oversee about 130 people.

Mr. Treske is "still going to be an active participant'' at the company, Mr. Ennis said. He said Mr. Treske would not be available to comment.

Evergreen had $7 billion of net sales last year, up from $2 billion in 1997, partly because of First Union's 1997 acquisition of Wheat First.

There are no plans to do large-scale hiring right away, but at some point the company plans to "aggressively expand'' its number of sales representatives, Mr. Ennis said.

"We're pretty robust today within the Evergreen complex, and we definitely will expand under Maryann's leadership,'' he said.

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