Chase Manhattan Bank has appointed Albert Siriano, the former technology chief of Xerox Corp., to head a new information-technologies group for its fee-based services business.

The unit Mr. Siriano will head at Chase is designed to speed the development of products and systems based on new technologies, such as "client-server" computing, where networks of PCs take over tasks previously handled by mainframes.

The new organization consolidates resources that previously were divided among business line at the fee-services unit, called Infoserv, Chase officials said.

$70 Million for Upgrading

Chase invests about $70 million annually in upgrading systems in Infoserv. One of the unit's biggest projects over the past year has been the roll-out to corporate customers of a new workstation, called infostation, that uses Microsoft Corp.'s Windows PC operating system.

The new unit "is meant to streamline the organization to make it more responsive to customized solutions," said Craig Goldman, senior vice president of information technology at Chase.

Infoserv includes businesses such as cash management, global securities services, institutional trust, investment banking, and insurance services.

Many banks are upgrading the systems underlying their fee-based services in an attempt to make more timely information available to customers. Northern Trust has committed $100 million to upgrading its trust and global custody systems.

Staff of 230

Bankers Trust recently established a separate unit to develop software applications based on client-server technology.

At Chase, Mr. Siriano, will head a staff of about, 230, and report directly to Michael Urkowitz, executive vice president and chief executive of Infoserv, and to Mr. Goldman.

Mr. Siriano will also be responsible for standardizing Chase's often incompatible computer systems. Among the standards Chase is moving toward are the Microsoft's new advanced operating systems, called Windows NT, and "workgroup" software from Lotus Development Corp., Cambridge, Mass., called Notes.

Mr. Siriano spent four years at Xerox prior to joining Chase in June. Before that, he was chief information officer of Tenneco Oil Co., Houston.

At Xerox, Mr. Siriano put in place a program, beginning in 1990, to move from mainframe-based computing to one based on networks of PCs.

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