Electronic Data Systems Corp. said it has reorganized to go more aggressively after computer services contracts from multinational banks.

The data processing giant has created a global banking division based in New York and headed by Stephen R. Bova, 49, who spent 10 years building the global financial institutions division of Alltel Information Services Inc., Little Rock.

Both of those rivals, and indeed the entire outsourcing industry, have come to view the biggest banks as their greatest growth opportunity.

"This is the group of banks that will spend the lion's share on technology over the next few years," Mr. Bova said in an interview.

Mr. Bova, who joined Plano, Tex.-based EDS last month, said his division will focus exclusively on servicing commercial banks with operations on "multiple continents."

EDS will peddle software, systems integration, and outsourcing services, he said.

EDS has had a less formal presence in the global banking market for three years. In June it signed a $250 million contract to manage desktop computer systems for Citicorp. In January 1995, it signed a $350 million outsourcing agreement with American Express Bank Ltd. of New York.

Executives at EDS said the reorganization reflects their intent to home in on specific lines of business. "The complex requirements of global banks demand a focused approach that is best realized through a single, dedicated unit," said Coley Clark, senior vice president at EDS.

The reorganization also spawned three other divisions - community banking, U.S. banking, and global securities services. They are headed by Louis Ivey, Michael Littell, and Michael T. Reddy, respectively.

Mr. Bova and the other division heads will report to Bobby Grisham, president of EDS' banking and securities group.

Consultants said the decision to form a global unit means EDS recognizes significant opportunities in overseas markets.

"The degree to which international banks are using outsourcing solutions is growing," said Diogo Teixeira, president of the Tower Group in Newton, Mass. "It's certainly appropriate for EDS to look outside the U.S."

EDS' competitors also are pursuing foreign business, but they contend the going may be slow because outsourcing has not yet captured the attention of many international banks.

"No one is out there proactively trying to sell outsourcing," said Dodd Miles, the managing director at Alltel who replaced Mr. Bova.

Alltel's strategy has been to get its foot in the doors of foreign banks with software deals, hoping they lead to more comprehensive computer service relationships, said Mr. Miles.

Mr. Bova began his career at EDS in 1970 and held various operational, technical, and managerial positions before leaving for Republic National Bank of Dallas in 1979. He has also worked as a consultant for Matrix Management Inc. and Technical Management Consultants International. He joined Systematics Inc., as Alltel Information Services was formerly known, in 1986.

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