Comerica Inc. of Detroit has licensed Broadway & Seymour Inc.'s asset management accounting and securities processing software.
The new in-house software system, called Amtrust, will replace Comerica's trust accounting and asset management outsourcing relationship with SEI Corp. of Wayne, Pa. The five-year SEI deal expires in two years and will not be renewed, bank officials said.
David B. Stephens, an executive vice president at Comerica, said in a press release that the decision to convert was a "culmination of an evaluation of trust systems performed during 1994, which was facilitated by an outside consultant."
"As a result of this effort, we felt the long-term strategic objectives would best be served by making a change to Amtrust," he said.
Comerica's trust unit has $80 billion of assets under management. Terms of the deal with Broadway and Seymour were not disclosed.
James R. Spencer 3d, a senior vice president at Charlotte, N.C.-based Broadway & Seymour, said the Comerica contract brings the total of banks using the Amtrust software to 15.
Mr. Spencer said he believes the software will help $33 billion-asset Comerica consolidate its high-volume business as a top-tier player. Taking the trust account business in-house will also help it gain "some economies of scale and some productivity enhancements," he said.
The bank's trust business was modest when the SEI deal was signed, Mr. Spencer said. But the 1991 merger with Manufacturers National Corp. brought fast growth; Comerica now has nearly 30,000 trust accounts.
Comerica's in-house move emulates similar decisions made by Cleveland's Keycorp last winter and by Bank of Boston Corp. nearly three years ago.
Both banks scrapped SEI as their service bureau for trust and securities accounting, replacing it with in-house versions using Broadway & Seymour's Amtrust software.
Rick Lieb, an executive vice president at SEI, characterized the departures as part of the regular ebb and flow of the business. He stressed that the moves had not caused an overall decline in the company's stature as a trust processor.
"We are the industry leader, and we will remain the industry leader," Mr. Lieb asserted. "These things happen. You roll with it."
Mr. Lieb, who started the company in 1976, said SEI's clients include 33 of the top 100 banks and 37% of the top 200 for trust processing.
"We've lost (customers) before and then won them back later," he said.
SEI will maintain a "fairly active and fruitful relationship" with Comerica, he added. The two companies have several relationships beyond the trust area, including one in mutual funds.