First Security Corp. has acquired an employee benefits company for an undisclosed amount of stock.

The purchase of Cost Control Advocates will help the $22.1 billion-asset banking company enhance the services it offers to employees of its corporate customers, First Security said.

Both companies are based in Salt Lake City.

First Security has managed flexible benefit spending accounts -- which allow employees to make pretax contributions for medical, dental, day-care, and vision expenses -- on a small scale. Cost Control Advocates will strengthen that part of its business, said Gregory D. Burnett, a First Security senior vice president and institutional trust services manager.

"What makes this such a good fit is that we will handle it under the same roof as our institutional trust area, allowing us to offer strong 401(k) and flexible benefit plans to our client companies," Mr. Burnett said. "These two areas are handled very similarly because they are both tax-deferred deductions that employees make."

First Security, which announced in June that it would merge with local rival Zions Bancorp., will manage benefits-related funds deposited by corporate clients' payroll departments, maintain benefits records, and pay claims to employees of its customer firms.

"This will allow us to become more of a full-service provider for our corporate clients,'' said Mr. Burnett, who oversees First Security's corporate trust and benefits administration services. He declined to disclose the price of the deal, which was announced Thursday and closed in early August.

Cost Control Advocates, which was founded in 1987, was one of the first benefits-administration companies to give client employees the option of enrolling in benefits programs via telephone.

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