NU Online News Service, May 14, 11:37 a.m. – Nationwide Financial Services Inc., Columbus, Ohio, says its first-quarter sales through wirehouses and regional brokerage firms were strong.

Total sales reached $503 million, up 37% from the first quarter of 2001, Nationwide says.

Nationwide gets the majority of its wirehouse and regional brokerage sales from individual variable annuities. Individual variable annuity sales increased 55%, to $324 million, Nationwide says.

The securities brokerage channels also generated $129 million from the sale of pensions; $33 million from the sale of fixed annuities; and $17 million from the sale of variable life insurance.