Just because Bankers Trust New York Corp. is planning to buy a regional investment bank doesn't mean other New York money-center banks need to follow suit.

At least that was the view espoused by Walter V. Shipley, chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corp., in an interview last week.

Mr. Shipley, who was appearing at the annual meeting of the Urban Bankers Association, has said in the past that small acquisitions were a possibility for bolstering Chase's asset management and securities underwriting businesses.

But "we are going to build those businesses internally for now," Mr. Shipley said Friday when questioned after his keynote address.

Mr. Shipley used the speech before the Urban Bankers to promote Chase as an employer committed to diversity.

Chase has made a concerted effort to insure the career development of employees who are members of minority groups, he said.

But diversity at Chase is still a work in progress, he acknowledged. "We haven't completed it yet."

Mr. Shipley said rival Citicorp has done a better job cultivating a diverse management team. "Maybe that's a function of their larger and historic international network," he added.

But Chase is working to change that, he said.

For example, employees have access to educational and training programs begun at the "old" Chase, he said.

The chairman said the rapidly changing nature of the financial services industry makes it important to maintain diversity among managers as jobs are eliminated.

"We have to provide opportunities to employees to move within the company," he said. "Forget mergers-jobs are be-coming redundant because of technology."

Mr. Shipley, who is also the leader of Chase's internal diversity council, said he has learned much about the importance of having different points of view in an organization through his experiences during the 1996 merger of Chase and Chemical Banking Corp., and in Chemical's 1990 merger with Manufacturers Hanover Bank and Trust Co.

"The most disappointing aspect of my own leadership in the merger (with Chemical) was that I didn't sooner champion diversity," he said.

"I believe that diversity is becoming a defining quality of the new Chase culture," he said. "But we haven't accomplished what needs to be accomplished when people still feel self-conscious about their inclusion."

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