Keycorp, which recently conducted one of the largest bank mergers in the United States, has signed with Broadway & Seymour Inc. for the software that will handle trust processing at the post-merger bank.

Prior to merging with Society Corp. to form the nation's 12th-largest banking company, Keycorp had used a trust processing system from SEI Corp.

"As part of the Society/Keycorp merger, we extended our contract with SEI for the time being, in an effort to facilitate the consolidation of the two bank's databases," said Randy Ripple, executive vice president at Cleveland-based Keycorp, which has $66 billion in assets.

"Now that we have successfully completed the consolidation, we will be moving our accounts to the Amtrust system," from Broadway & Seymour.

Mr. Ripple said Keycorp plans to convert its 50,000 trust accounts to Broadway & Seymour's system within the next 12 to 16 months.

The conversion schedule will first concentrate on moving the 15,000 accounts that Keycorp had previously handled in-house to the new Broadway & Seymour system.

When that task is completed, 35,000 accounts that had been handled at an SEI service bureau will be moved to the new software, observers said.

"This system provides the bank with a centerpiece for the trust operation as it continues to grow," Mr. Ripple said. "We want to move our accounts to a common trust accounting system, and this software provides us with the vehicle to do that."

Although neither organization would comment on the cost of the software deal, industry observers placed its value at over $5 million.

Mr. Ripple said KeyCorp chose Amtrust because of Broadway & Seymour's commitment to provide continual support and upgrades to the system.

"We have placed an emphasis on becoming a world-class provider of financial services," said Mr. Ripple. "We view Amtrust as an important component of our overall systems architecture for our trust and asset management accounting and information needs."

Robert Wagner, a senior vice president at SEI, said his firm will continue to meet the terms of its agreement with Keycorp for as long as the bank requires.

Mr. Wagner said SEI's contract with Keycorp for its Trust 3000 system expires in 1997.

The loss of Keycorp as a client is the second setback SEI has faced in recent months. Early last fall, the firm lost a contract processing Banc One Corp.'s $5.1 billion mutual fund family.

Despite the setbacks, the firm remains a formidable force in the industry according to Mark Hardy, a consultant at The Tower Group in Wellesley, Mass.

"SEI is the largest provider of computer services to bank trust departments and has over 700 banks as clients," he said. "Its clients include 40 of the nation's 100 largest banks."

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