CoreStates Financial Corp. is revamping its retirement services program to let employers design their own plans.
Brenda Seliga, who joined CoreStates last month, will head the effort. As senior vice president, Ms. Seliga is developing a new approach for delivery of administration, management, and record keeping for pension, profit sharing, and 401(k) plans.
In the past, CoreStates offered a one-product-fits-all approach to retirement services. But competition in the retirement services market has heated up, with many large nonbanking mutual fund companies offering a galaxy of retirement options for a single client, and CoreStates felt it was time to alter its strategy.
"We have not really in the past targeted our markets," Ms. Seliga said. "We had pretty much treated everyone the same way."
The Philadelphia banking company handles about 2,000 retirement plans, covering 117,000 individuals, with assets under administration of $20.3 billion. The companies that sponsor the plans have annual sales ranging from less than $2 million to more than $250 million.
In her new job, Ms. Seliga reports to Peter Welber, president and chief executive of CoreStates Asset Management, which has more than $300 billion of assets under administration.
Previously, Ms. Seliga held a similar post at Comerica Inc., Detroit. Taking over as officer in charge of Comerica's employee benefits group is first vice president Cheryl A. Derezinski. Ms. Seliga had also worked in institutional trust, employee benefits, and wholesale banking at Continental Bank Chicago and BankAmerica Illinois.
Industry observers said that CoreStates' new approach to retirement services was inevitable given changes in the marketplace.
"They have to do market segmentation," said Don Trone, executive vice president of Callan Associates, an investment management consulting firm. "The bundled program for 500 employees is entirely different from that of 5,000."
Many banks, however, have moved in the opposite direction from CoreStates and a slew of large nonbank money managers. For banks, flexibility is out and standardized services are in, according to Norman L. Lubin, chief executive officer of FMS Consulting, a Blue Bell, Pa., firm.
"That is the trend in the industry, and that is not the path I see CoreStates taking," Ms. Seliga said.