Liberty Financial Cos. has signed a three-year Web hosting and service agreement with USInternetworking Inc. of Annapolis, Md.

Liberty Financial, one of the mutual fund industry's Internet pioneers, turned to USi as a "single point of accountability," said Jeremy Jaffee, Liberty's vice president of electronic commerce.

"If we need assistance, we make one phone call and USi takes total responsibility," he said. "We can focus on improvements to the sites at a more strategic level."

USi will provide its Internet Selling e-commerce system for Liberty affiliates Keyport Life Insurance Co., Stein Roe & Farnham, Independent Financial Marketing Group, and Liberty Funds Distributor Inc.

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