First Union Securities is putting its new-broker-training effort on hold for the rest of the year.

Broker productivity numbers at First Union showed some improvement in 2000, and management wants those numbers to remain up, says Tony Mattera, a spokesperson for the firm. “Our objective is to keep that momentum going.”

The firm trained 300 new brokers in 2000, about 100 more than the firm had originally planned, Mattera says. Prior to that, Wheat First Union and Everen Securities combined trained about 250 brokers in 1999 and about the same number in 1998.

First Union budgeted training for just 60 rookies during 2001 and had already hit that number with the class that started the four-month program in January, Mattera says. “At this point, we haven't scheduled any more classes for this year,” he says. “It's unlikely there will be any more this year.”

Several reps at the firm say the company doesn't have much of a training program anyway. The course includes four weeks of classroom learning in Richmond, Va., with the rest in a branch.

A regional executive who asked to remain anonymous says First Union may be moving away from training because it would rather not populate its new branches with rookies. Instead, officials want experienced brokers who can produce profits, he says.

The First Union brokerage sales force now stands at 7,459 reps, up from 6,589 in 1999. The increase was due in part to acquisitions, according to First Union Corp. President Ken Thompson, who mentioned the numbers during a Credit Suisse First Boston conference in mid-February.