Hoping to boost its marketing power and high-tech capabilities, compliance consulting leader Barefoot, Marrinan & Associates has sold its line of publications to Irwin Financial Publishing.

JoAnn Barefoot, president of the Columbus, Ohio-based firm, said her company would continue writing the newsletters, manuals, and other publications. But she said Irwin, a publishing firm in Burr Ridge, Ill., would package and market the products.

"We know that our firm has the knowledge and tools that bankers need," Ms. Barefoot said. "We thought we would let Irwin put it together in a way that people would want."

Neither company would disclose the sale's financial terms.

Barefoot, Marrinan has more than 4,000 customers for its compliance manual, which is updated quarterly, two newsletters, and six other publications. Its monthly Compliance Advisor newsletter prints articles on recent regulatory actions and trends, as well as a calendar listing deadlines for comment letters on rule proposals.

Irwin publishes 40 to 50 banking books a year. Its publications include the Price Waterhouse compliance handbooks and "Bottom Line Banking: Meeting the Challenges for Survival and Success," by Banc One Corp. chairman and chief executive John B. McCoy.

Ms. Barefoot said her firm simply doesn't have enough people to market or design its publications as effectively as Irwin can do. Barefoot, Marrinan employs about 30 people nationwide, while Irwin has nearly one- third that many devoted solely to marketing.

"Our first priority in this is to give the materials as big a marketing push as possible," said Mark Butler, a banking editor at Irwin.

Previously, Ms. Barefoot said, her firm's marketing consisted mainly of direct mailings to banks, whereas Irwin has the ability to reach "tens of thousands of people with more sophisticated marketing lists" via direct mail, catalogs, and the Internet.

Mr. Butler said the Barefoot, Marrinan publications would be advertised initially in the publisher's banking catalog. Soon, the products also will be offered on Irwin's World Wide Web home page.

Ms. Barefoot said such high-tech capabilities attracted her to Irwin. She said her firm hopes to aid the publisher in producing CD-ROM-based products and, eventually, in offering instantly updatable compliance information on the Internet.

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