Comerica Inc. said it will retain its majority stake in the asset manager Munder Capital Management, instead of seeking a partner.

The Detroit banking company will also distribute up to 20% of its 88% stake to key employees to keep them on board, according to Michael T. Monahan, acting chief executive.

"Munder has historically had a very entrepreneurial atmosphere," said Mr. Monahan, who took over as chief executive in October. "We're in the process of distributing an equity program to keep that flair."

The stock will be awarded through grants and options to top executives as well as money managers at the Birmingham, Mich., firm, which manages $52 billion of assets. Munder employees already own some of the remaining 12%.

Comerica, which had owned a 44% stake in Munder since 1994, became the majority owner in 1998 when it doubled its stake by buying the bulk of the shares owned by Lee Munder, founder and chairman of the asset management firm.

Comerica's move to reward employees with equity is smart given the experience at other banking and financial services companies, said Ellen McKay, a principal at Optima Group in Fairfield, Conn.

Banks have taken a heavy hand instead of letting the operations "remain as independent structures and run themselves," Ms. McKay said.

Keeping key people happy is imperative, Ms. McKay said. "A lot of these places are built on one or two people's personality, and they can make or break things."

A spokeswoman said Comerica is continuing its search for a full-time chief executive. Mr. Monahan, who was president of Comerica until his retirement in June, joined Munder to succeed Paul Tobias, who left in October, as acting CEO.

The circumstances surrounding Mr. Tobias' departure remain unclear. Neither Comerica nor Mr. Tobias nor his attorney, David Foltyn, a partner in the Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn firm in Detroit, would comment on his reasons for leaving.

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