MILWAUKEE - Fiserv Inc. said it hired a U.S. Bancorp executive to head up the check-processing operations of Chase Manhattan Bank, whose facilities it won a big contract to manage last month.

Milwaukee-based Fiserv said it hired Jeffrey B. Kline to be president of the unit that will manage Chase's four New York State check-processing centers as part of a 12-year, $480 million outsourcing deal announced Feb. 22.

"Jeff brings an outstanding background and set of complementary skills to Fiserv," said Leslie M. Muma, president and chief operating officer. "He has more than 17 years of experience with item-processing operations for large banks.

"In addition, he has the organizational skills that encourage cooperation and participation - skills that will be important in developing this new Fiserv business unit."

At U.S. Bancorp, Mr. Kline was a senior vice president responsible for the Portland, Ore.-based bank's four check-processing centers. He also ran U.S. Bancorp's electronic funds transfer processing and cash vault operations, he said.

Before his stint at U.S. Bancorp, Mr. Kline was a vice president of item processing at First Bank System Inc., Minneapolis.

For Fiserv, Mr. Kline, 38, will oversee 700 former Chase back-office workers in Brooklyn, Rochester, Syracuse, and Lake Success, N.Y.

Part of his job will be to move all of Chase's check-sorting centers to Unisys Corp. equipment and to increase the use of imaging technology. At U.S. Bancorp, Mr. Kline said, he participated in installing an imaging system for the company's lockbox operation.

"Part of my job here is to evaluate the best use of new technologies like imaging in order to help keep Chase in the lead of offering innovative products to its customers," Mr. Kline said.

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