BankAmerica Corp. has clinched a deal to provide, a retirement savings plan to the staff of its hometown baseball club, the San Francisco Giants.

The full-service program, called 401(k) Daily Advantage, will enable participants to check balances and reallocate investments in their retirement portfolios around the clock.

Nearly 200 nonplaying staff members and managers will be eligible to participate in the, plan, according to Karen Jacobs, vice president of BankAmerica's institutional trust and securities services division.

By signing up the Giants as a retirement-plan client, BankAmerica has leveraged a longstanding relationship. The bank has handled the Giants' banking needs since the team moved from New York in 1958.

In fact the Giants are a classic example of the type of middle-market business that BankAmerica has made the focus of its 401(k) plan sales effort. "We really rely on our commercial banking network and our global account network to generate leads for us," Ms. Jacobs said.

Lineup of Choices

Under the 401(k) plan, Giants employees will be able to set aside pretax salary dollars for retirement. BankAmerica will provide a range of investment choices, including the bank's proprietary Pacific Horizon mutual funds.

Through its institutional trust unit, BankAmerica manages some $27 billion in retirement plan assets, Ms. Jacobs said.

Right now, about a fifth of those retirement assets are in 401(k) plans. "But it's definitely a growing market, and it's a source of revenue that we want to keep." she said.

BankAmerica didn't win the Giants' 401(k) business overnight. Meetings with the club's human resources staff began last April. Discussions continued into the fall, when the Giants were battling for the National League's western division championship.

"There is nothing quite like going to Candlestick Park when the Giants are pushing to win their division, and making presentations to their employees," Ms. Jacobs said.

The team had come in from a road trip when we made our last presentation," she said. "The stadium was really abuzz."

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