After completing a series of acquisitions to increase its retirement services capabilities, Wachovia Corp. believes it now has the size and the power needed to cross-sell retirement products to its banking customers.

"It is critical to link our capabilities together for smooth end delivery to our customers," said Don McMullen, president of the capital management group. "On the banking side, we have 2,100 branches, with 10 to 12 million customer relationships. It is critical to cross-sell to them."

The Charlotte banking company started a strategic initiative Monday to attract more retirement assets through its distribution channels. "People really don't think of banks when they think of retirement," McMullen said. "They think of a specific investment firm or a brokerage firm. They don’t realize a company like ours, with banking, brokerage, and asset management, can pool it all together for them."

McMullen said the capital management group has recruited Bob Reid, a Wachovia executive vice president and the chief executive officer for the Pennsylvania and Delaware markets, to lead the initiative. In his new role, Reid will be responsible for coordinating the retirement strategy across Wachovia’s lines of business.

Reid’s background in both retail and wholesale banking made him the ideal executive to bring retirement products and services to a wide swath of the company’s customer base, McMullen said. With Baby Boomers approaching retirement and equity markets in the doldrums, more investors are looking for retirement advice, he noted.

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