Cirrus System Inc., MasterCard International's automated teller machine network, will be relocating this year along with its New York City-based parent company.

Staff will move from Cirrus's present Chicago location to join 575 New York employees at MasterCard's new headquarters in Purchase N.Y.

The 47-acre suburban compound, which used to be IBM's headquarters, will be open for business in November.

The move will affect about 50 Cirrus employees, said spokeswoman Caroline Raeder.

Questions remain as to how many of the employees Cirrus will lose as a result of the change. "Everyone is in decision mode; it's premature to say how many will be going with the company," said Ms. Raeder, who hasn't made up her mind yet. Employees must decide by May 1.

The company is offering "a very attractive relocation package to all Cirrus employees" to help the decision-making process, she said.

Cirrus has been headquartered in Chicago since it was started in 1982. The company, with more than 200,000 ATMs in its network in 68 countries and territories, was purchased by MasterCard in 1988.

There are about 425 million cards in circulation with access to the network, and over 300 million transactions were reported in 1994.

The move will bring Cirrus next door to sister company Maestro International. "It made sense to have us closer for sharing ideas and overall manpower," said Ms. Raeder.

The network will not be affected by the move because the switch remains in Detroit - "just the bodies and the brains," said Ms. Raeder.

While the Cirrus portion of the Chicago office will be closed, MasterCard will maintain its Midwest region staff at the Windy City location.

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