BISYS, the New York-based mutual fund and insurance product distributor, is continuing its bid to expand its insurance-related business with new reporting services for variable annuity and variable life insurance products, the company said today.

The firm has historically distributed life insurance and provided related services to insurance companies through outsourcing relationships, but in the past year has begun an aggressive effort to draw more business from that sector. The firm began servicing insurance portfolios this year. Its first client was American Family Life Insurance Company.

Now, BISYS wants to continue expanding its insurance industry services by providing similar accounting and reporting services to those it already provides to the mutual fund industry.

Steve Pierce, the company's V.P. of product development, said such accounting services have been handled in-house by insurance companies for years. Growth in the variable annuity industry and the increased complexity of accounting for those products has prompted many firms to consider outsourcing that function, he said.

It is a similar idea to what took place the mutual fund business during the past decade, he said. "Now insurance companies are reaching a similar point as they outgrow their ability to perform these complex tasks themselves," Pierce said.

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