First Union Corp. is about a third of the way along in its ambitious plan to license 2,400 employees to sell mutual funds, and branch managers may have special reason to cheer.

"Branch managers are some of the most overworked, underpaid employees, and this enables them to double or even triple their income" through commissions, said B. Lamar Polston, national sales manager for the North Carolina company's First Union Brokerage Services unit.

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