Mutual fund companies ranked Boston Co., Bankers Trust Co., Chase Manhattan Corp., and Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. the top custody providers in various categories in a recently released survey.

Boston Co. came in first in both the domestic full-service and global service categories. This ranking includes companies that perform a minimum of basic custody and fund accounting services for customers.

It won two of the four categories strongly, said Jackie Deckman, market research director for Dalbar Publishing, Boston, which has produced the Custody Ranking Survey since 1988.

On the global side, Boston Co. beat out Bankers Trust, which won first place last year.

In this year's survey, the New York-based bank took first place in the domestic custody category. This category ranks companies that provide custody services, but not fund accounting for domestic securities.

Firstar Bank, Milwaukee, and Bank of New York Co. tied for the second slot in this sector. Boston-based State Street Bank and Trust Co. came in fourth, followed by Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., New York.

No |Slouches'

Earning a 3.51 on a scale of 4, Bankers Trust did well in this class. Ms. Deckman said. And the companies it was compared to "aren't slouches."

"We believe that our dedicated, experienced staff and our strategic commitment to technology have been critical in differentiating Bankers Trust from its custody competitors," said Jay Wilder, managing director of portfolio services at the New York-based bank.

In the global custody category, Chase Manhattan and Morgan Guaranty tied for first. The two New York banks "had no near competitors," Ms. Deckman said.

The Dalbar 1993 Custody Ranking Survey measured 123 mutual fund companies' satisfaction with custody services and individual custodian service performance. Data on custody fee arrangements and amounts is also compiled.

What Companies Want

A total of 46 custodians who handle $588 billion of mutual fund assets were evaluated on 50 criteria.

The survey helps custodians understand what types of services mutual fund companies are looking for, Ms. Deckman explained.

The rankings also provide a way for mutual fund companies to identify custodians who are "service quality leaders in meeting" their needs.

Other faring well in this year's study include Investors Fiduciary Trust Co., which placed second in the domestic full-service ranking followed by State Street. State Street came in third in the global full-service area, with Brown Brothers, Harriman & Co., New York, taking second.

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