Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2002

Edward Jones program aggressively recruits women

JUNEAU - Edward Jones, a national financial services firm with more than 8,300 offices in the United States, is involved in an aggressive program designed to increase the ranks of female brokers, said Ben Prater, an Edward Jones investment representative in its Juneau office.

"Edward Jones has intensified its recruiting and networking efforts, mobilizing successful women already working for the firm," Prater said.

The firm launched a forum for its female investment representatives to exchange ideas and address issues unique to women in the investment field. The program also focuses on attracting women into the industry by providing a resource network for and by women.

Prater said about 14 percent of Edward Jones' investment representatives are female, but the company hopes ultimately to increase the proportion to 50 percent. The financial services industry average for female investment representatives is 9 percent.

"Edward Jones creates an atmosphere of success for both women and men," said Managing Partner John W. Bachmann, who initiated the effort to recruit women. "But we've made an effort to understand what women need from a company and to be sure that Edward Jones meets those needs."

The St. Louis-based investment firm's strategy focuses on opening one-broker offices where investors get face-to-face assistance in meeting their long-term financial goals. It trains about 200 new investment representatives a month.

Edward Jones' new initiative on female networking and retention assigns five area captains to lead the effort across the United States, assisted by a stepladder of state and area captains. Each new female investment representative is assigned a female broker mentor, with the entire ladder designed to give the new investment representatives a leg up during their first two years in the business.

For more information, visit the Web site A special section for women can be found under "changing careers."

Evergreen Resources plans coal test wells near Delta

ANCHORAGE - Evergreen Resources Alaska Corp. has applied to the state Department of Natural Resources to drill two mineral core wells on shallow gas leases near Delta Junction.

In its application, Evergreen told the state that the purpose of the coring project is to gain geological information on the rock formations and recover coal cores for further laboratory testing.

If it finds coal with the right properties, Evergreen may pursue unitization, which is the first step necessary for shallow natural gas exploration and development.

Evergreen farmed into 333,415 acres of state shallow gas leases near Delta Junction in May 2001. The leases are south of the Richardson Highway, northwest of Big Delta, and straddle the highway at Delta Junction.

Very little geologic work has been done in this part of the Nenana basin. "No one can say with any degree of certainty whether economic accumulations of natural gas exist," the company told the state.

Evergreen said that late this summer it will undertake a six- to eight-week program to gather initial geologic and geophysical data.

Evergreen said it is negotiating with surface owners to determine the most appropriate coring location, with three possible road accessible sites under consideration, one on private land near Clearwater Road and the others in unused gravel pits owned by the state.

Evergreen is a subsidiary of Evergreen Resources Inc. of Denver, Colo.

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