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COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The BISYS Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: BSYS) announced today that its Fund Services Division(A) has been retained as administrator of the Parkstone Mutual Funds in a multi- year contract with the Fund group. Parkstone also renewed its distribution agreement with BISYS. The Parkstone Mutual Funds are managed by First of America Investment Corporation in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In addition to the distribution arrangement, First of America has expanded its contract with BISYS to include marketing, sales support and recordkeeping services for the bank's target 401(k) market. A client since 1987, First of America is one of the most successful proprietary fund families in adding assets through retail sales. As a "single source" partner, BISYS will assist the bank in increasing the Parkstone Mutual Fund assets by both adding a competitive 401(k) program and through securing financing commitments for the funds' class B shares, which have a contingent deferred sales charge.

"Our relationship with First of America is as important to our company now as it was when we launched the Funds in 1987. We are extremely pleased that we have the opportunity to assist the bank further with the growth of the Parkstone Mutual Funds," declares Stephen G. Mintos, Executive Vice President of BISYS' Fund Services Division. BISYS has assisted Parkstone in its growth from three money market funds in 1987 to one of the largest bank-managed funds in the industry, comprised of 15 mutual funds totalling more than $4.5 billion in assets.

William Shauman, Senior Vice President for the Trust and Financial Services Division of First of America, attributes much of the growth to an aggressive proprietary wholesaling program, staffed by BISYS employees and located on-site in Kalamazoo. "The wholesalers act as the voice for Parkstone, giving valuable information to our brokerage sales force as well as receiving vital feedback from them. Proprietary funds need to realize that they're competing against nationally distributed funds whose representatives are talking to your brokers every day. You need to make sure you maintain a high profile," Shauman contends.

In addition to staffing a wholesaling office, BISYS revamped Parkstone's marketing materials, condensing the brochures for each portfolio down to eight pages of easy-to-read, benefit-oriented statements. In fact, the brochures were recently highlighted in the November 23, 1994, issue of Lipper Analytical's "News About Bank-Related Funds." Shaumen notes that these types of sales-oriented brochures are a must to grab the attention of investment representatives and to help communicate more clearly to customers the benefits -- and risks -- of various investment options.

Under the new agreement, First of America is now turning to BISYS for additional support to increase Parkstone Mutual Fund assets through two strategic moves. First, BISYS will help the bank create a competitive 401(k) program to reach small- and medium-sized companies. This turnkey program will complete the bank's array of employee benefit plan options for its corporate clients and will feature the Parkstone Mutual Funds.

Second, BISYS will provide financing for the fund group's contingent deferred sales charge (CDSC) class of shares, or B shares. Financing a back-end load is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome in establishing this class of shares. BISYS will secure financing commitments for the funds' CDSC class through Financial Equity Partners, a New York-based financial firm. Many BISYS clients have expressed interest in offering a B-share class, as demand for this pricing structure from both brokers and consumers continues to increase. "Our job is to find solutions for our clients. Developing a way to fund back-end load shares is just another example of how our single source philosophy benefits our clients," reflects Mintos.

BISYS is a leading provider of outsourcing solutions to and through financial organizations. Operating two strategic business units, BISYS supports more than 4,000 banking and corporate clients throughout the country and employs more than 1,300 associates. The BISYS Group, Inc. is headquartered in Little Falls, New Jersey.

BISYS Investment Services Group designs, administers, services and distributes proprietary mutual funds and provides 401(k) administration services in partnership with some of the nation's most distinguished banks and investment management companies. One of the nation's leading 401(k) service providers, the BISYS Qualified Plan Services Division supports a diverse client base of more than 3,500 retirement plans ranging in size from 10 to 10,000 employees. The BISYS Fund Services Division provides proprietary mutual fund support services to 30 clients, representing approximately $27 billion in assets.

For more information on any of the Parkstone Mutual Funds, including sales charges and expenses, call 1-800-451-8377 to obtain a prospectus. Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest or send money.

NOTE A -- The Winsbury Company is the legal name of the distributor of the mutual funds serviced by BISYS.
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/CONTACT: Stephen G. Mintos, Executive Vice President, Fund Services Division, of The BISYS Group, Inc., 614-899-4632, or William Shauman, Senior Vice President, Trust and Financial Services Division, of First of America Bancorp, 616-376-8124/


CO: BISYS Group, Inc.; First of America Investment Corporation ST: Ohio, Michigan IN: FIN SU: CON

BM-LB -- CL011 -- 9878 01/09/95 10:10 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 9, 1995

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