For the second time in a week, Bisys Investment Services Group has snared a big mutual fund distribution contract.

The company, a unit of Bisys Group, Little Falls, N.J., was picked as distributor and administrator for the soon-to-be-merged mutual fund families managed by First Chicago NBD Bancorp.

The $120 billion-asset banking company, based in Chicago, was formed last July through a merger of equals.

The two mutual fund families, launched by the former First Chicago Corp. and NBD Bancorp., have a combined $11 billion in assets, placing them seventh among all bank-run fund businesses.

Bisys already serves as distributor to First Chicago's Prairie Funds, which brought approximately $3 billion in assets to the match. Those funds are to be merged July 1 with NBD's Woodward Funds. At that time, Bisys will take over distribution duties now handled by Essex Corp. and First of Michigan.

Bisys is one of a handful of companies specializing in providing outsourcing services to bank-managed mutual funds. At a minimum, distributors handle duties that are off-limits to banks - such as registering mutual funds for sale and striking sales contracts with brokerage firms. Administrators handle record keeping chores.

But frequently, banks also turn to these outsourcers for help in devising sales strategies and developing products. In a prepared statement, Richard Stierwalt, president of Bisys Investment Services, said strategic marketing and retail wholesaling would be part of Bisys' role with First Chicago NBD.

Bisys has 30 bank mutual fund clients.

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