Federated Investors of Pittsburgh said Monday that it has bought a software developer from United Asset Management Corp. to boost its retirement plan business.

InvestLink Technologies Inc. of New York develops and markets record-keeping and administration software for defined-contribution plans. Forty-five third-party administrators use the software.

Federated plans to use the InvestLink connection to push its mutual funds for plans that these companies administer, said Arthur L. Cherry, president of Federated Services Co., which provides retirement plan back-office services for banks and brokerage firms.

InvestLink's software will also fill a gap in those services. Federated provides administration for various kinds of plans, but record keeping only for 401(k) plans; InvestLink's software also handles record keeping for 403(b) plans and others.

Terms were not disclosed, but Mark Constant, an analyst with Lehman Brothers Inc., described the InvestLink deal as "small." Nonetheless, "it's a new channel for reaching plan sponsors," he said. Federated's current retirement plan business comes mostly from banks, he added.

InvestLink was founded in 1996 and bought the following year by Boston-based United Asset Management, a holding company for investment management firms. In recent months, however, United Asset Management has been concentrating on what it considers core investment management activities. A spokesman did not return a telephone call.

A Federated spokesman said InvestLink's top management will remain with the company and report to Mr. Cherry.

Federated, which managed roughly $125 billion of assets on Dec. 31, is a major seller of mutual funds through bank trust departments and brokerage units. It administers $2 billion of 401(k) assets, Mr. Cherry said.

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