Essex Corp., the New York-based insurance marketing firm, entered an alliance Friday with People's Bank of California to sell fixed and variable annuities.

Los Angles-based People's, with $1.7 billion of assets, has 19 retail branches in three Southern California counties. People's, which began an investment sales program two years ago, had been working with Liberty Financial Cos., but opted to switch to Essex, which will help train branch employees in investment sales, according to William Flader, executive vice president of People's.

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