boutique, is trying to more than double its client base by the end of next year.

The Minneapolis firm has hired industry veteran Michael J. Erskine as senior vice president of business development and is launching a marketing campaign.

In business since last October, Fintegra has 12 bank clients, most of them community banks. Through contacts with potential clients and advertising in trade publications, it intends to boost that number to 150, by adding 20 to 25 clients a year, said president Doreen L. Strand.

Mr. Erskine, who joined Fintegra on Sept. 1, is to focus on drumming up business east of the Mississippi, and Tucker Muhrer, also a senior vice president of business development, is to concentrate on the western half of the country.

"The major thing is getting our story out there," Mr. Erskine said.

Like Fintegra's founders -- Ms. Strand and chief executive Michael G. Lenzmeier -- Mr. Erskine is an alumnus of PrimeVest Financial Services Inc., where he was vice president of national sales. He resigned from PrimeVest, also a Minneapolis third-party marketer, in November 1998. After another Minneapolis-based firm, ReliaStar Financial Corp., bought PrimeVest in October 1996, several executives left.

Ms. Strand acknowledged the potential benefits of connections made while at PrimeVest. And Fintegra has plucked some accounts from its much larger rival, she said, though she would not say how many. But Fintegra is looking further afield than PrimeVest for clients, Ms. Strand stressed.

"There's a lot of opportunity in the marketplace," she said. "With all of the consolidation and mergers, there's a lot of uncertainty in the third-party marketing business. There are a lot of accounts out there that are frustrated."

Still, with most of Fintegra's competitors pursuing the same audience of disaffected clients, the company faces a tough road ahead, suggested Kenneth Kehrer, an industry consultant in Princeton, N.J.

"Their best shot is with people they've worked with before who like them," he said.

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