NU Online News Service, April 22, 2004, 2:16 p.m. EDT – The BISYS Group Inc., New York, says it will be hiring 30 sales reps in an effort to strengthen its struggling life insurance services unit.[@@]

BISYS sells support services to financial services companies.

Profits were up at the information services unit during the latest quarter and down slightly at the investment services unit.

Meanwhile, the BISYS insurance and education services unit posted a $10.8 million operating loss, compared with a $24.2 million operating profit for the comparable quarter in 2003.

BISYS is spending $3.1 million to deal with life insurance services division contract problems and $24.7 million to cut the estimated value of its life insurance commissions receivable portfolio.

BISYS President Russ Fradin says he is convinced that the company can turn the life services division around.

“I fundamentally believe in the value proposition of the [life services] business,” Fradin said during his company’s latest quarterly earnings conference.

For BISYS, the first quarter of the calendar year is the third quarter of its fiscal year. The company as a whole is reporting $3.2 million in net income for the first quarter of the calendar year on $272.3 million in revenue, compared with $32.5 million in net income on $244.8 million in revenue for the comparable quarter of 2003.

Jose Suquet, the former president of the life and education unit, left BISYS earlier this month, Fradin said.

Fradin said that he has taken over management of the unit, and that BISYS has hired an executive search firm to find a new unit president with a strong sales and service background.

BISYS also is trying to restructure and improve integration of the 17 regional companies it has bought in the past few years, executives said.

The life services unit is adding features to its products, revamping training programs and developing new incentives, according to BISYS Chief Financial Officer James Fox.

The changes will include the hiring of 30 new sales people. The hirings will expand the life and education unit sales force by about 20%, Fox said.