According to Prudential Insurance Co.’s initial public offering document filed yesterday at the SEC, the firm’s brokerage unit ended 2000 with 5,883 reps in the United States, down 3% from 6,072 in 1999.

The filing also revealed that the number of new reps trained in the United States declined nearly 50% to 652 from 1,202 in 1999.

The filing disclosed some possible difficulties Prudential may be facing in hiring experienced brokers, despite its aggressive recruitment packages. The firm showed a 7% increase in total noninterest expenses from 1999 to 2000, primarily because of higher commissions paid to reps and higher costs associated with recruiting and retaining them, the firm stated in the filing.

Broker turnover is the result of the lack of a stock-based compensation program, the firm says. “In response to recruiting efforts by our competitors, we have introduced an equity-market linked voluntary long-term deferred compensation plan to seek to enhance our Financial Advisor recruitment and retention efforts,” the firm said in the filing, referring to its enhanced MasterShare program, launched in January 2000.

Monday’s filing showed that the Newark, N.J.-based company plans to raise as much as $3.9 billion by selling 89 million shares to the public, according to the registration statement for what will be called Prudential Financial Inc.

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