Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, Bankers Trust Private Banking, Merrill Lynch Investment Advisor Services, and State Street Bank have joined a service from Advent Software Inc. that lets users deliver custody account information over the Internet to their clients.

The four institutions join nearly 50 companies worldwide that use Advent Custodial Data to deliver custody information to about 500 investment-firm clients. Investment firms can access trading and account data from multiple custodians through the Internet-based link.

Because regulations for quicker trade settlement are expected soon, companies "need to find new ways ... to automate the flow of data in and out of a firm," said Steven Lewzcyk, vice president of electronic communications at Advent.

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