Amsouth Bancorp. has again tapped Bisys Group to act as administrator and distributor of its proprietary mutual funds.

Birmingham, Ala.-based Amsouth has worked with Bisys since it first began to organize its funds in late 1987. A $2.2 billion-asset family, the Amsouth Funds line includes three money-market, four fixed-income, and three equity funds.

"Not only have we renewed our contract, but we have expanded our contractual relationship with Bisys," said Michael Baker, senior executive vice president and head of the capital management group for Amsouth.

Under the agreement, Amsouth will take over some administrative duties previously performed by Bisys, and Bisys will step up its wholesaling and third-party marketing of Amsouth's funds.

"We will work with them in a more joint-venturish way to grow both of our revenues," said David Huber, president of Bisys Fund Services.

Amsouth enhanced its relationship with Bisys in preparation for an expansion of its fund family, Mr. Baker said. Over the next few months, the bank plans to launch several new portfolios to fill in gaps in its product line, including in the area of large-cap and small-cap growth funds.

Mr. Huber said Amsouth has acted as something of a "guinea pig" for Bisys' new products and services.

"Amsouth has been a good laboratory for us," he said.

Amsouth, for example, worked with Bisys when the company began to help its bank-clients train their employees to sell investment products, Mr. Huber said. It was also one of the first banks to offer asset-allocation products to its high-net-worth clients, he said, and to sell its funds through its trust department.

Bisys Group, based in Little Falls, N.J., administers and distributes more than $75 billion worth of proprietary fund assets. Furman Selz, a New York investment bank, recently agreed to refer clients of its fund administration and distribution unit of Bisys, representing some $18.7 billion in bank fund assets.

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