Bank systems stocks mainly continued their ascent to new heights last week as investors' seemingly unlimited appetite for technology issues continued to defy Wall Street bears.
Though the Dow Jones industrial average fell back 31 points Thursday after cracking the 5100 level for the first time Wednesday, the technology- laden Nasdaq composite index rose yet again as a rally in the bond market helped lift most stocks.
In news affecting financial technology firms, SEI Corp. executives told an analyst group Wednesday that the company is holding talks with a prospective buyer to sell its pension and investment management consulting business, according to a Dow Jones report.
Henry Greer, president of Wayne, Pa.-based SEI, said talks about the sale are proceeding, though the firm is likely to miss a "self-imposed" deadline to sell the business by the end of the year. That deadline was set in May when the company announced the pending sale of its consulting business, SEI Capital Resources Co., and the consolidation of SEI's business lines.
"We may close the year selling the unit or we may miss it by a few weeks," Mr. Greer said. After the analyst meeting, he said SEI has a prospective backup buyer if negotiations fall through. "We're comfortable we're going to close shortly," he commented.
Edwin Ciskowski, an analyst with Cleary Gull Reiland & McDevitt Inc., estimates that the unit, which will be accounted for as a discontinued operation in 1995, could be sold for as much as $40 million.
SEI's biggest business is serving the bank trust market with high- technology accounting systems as well as administration and distribution of SEI's proprietary bank mutual funds. The firm expects to spend $125 million over the next five years on technology in this area, executives said.
As part of that effort, SEI announced last week that Robert Wagner and Ann Luther have been promoted to executive vice presidents of its investment systems and services unit, reporting to division president Rick Lieb.
Mr. Wagner will direct SEI's trust processing service bureau, while Ms. Luther will be in charge of research and development for the firm's trust technology products.
Automated teller machine manufacturer Diebold Inc. said last week it has completed its tender offer for shares of Griffin Technology Inc., and was informed that 2.33 million shares of Griffin stock were tendered before the expiration of the offer on Nov. 27.
In October, Diebold offered to buy all outstanding shares of Farmington, N.Y.-based Griffin, a developer of transaction processing and information systems for college campuses, for $7.75 a share in cash.
Diebold officials said the tendered shares represented about 98% of the outstanding Griffin shares. The remaining shares will acquired through a cash merger, officials said.
General Motors Corp.'s Electronic Data Systems subsidiary said Wednesday it has signed a 10-year contract with Aeromexico to operate and manage the airline's information systems.