Craig S. Sparkes, a veteran of more than 25 years in the cash management industry, has been named vice president of business development for software developer IA Corp.

Mr. Sparkes, who co-founded Phoenix-Hecht Cash Management Services in 1974, will help the Emeryville, Calif.-based software developer design new applications for WorkVision, its image-based workflow system.

He said the growing power of computers, coupled with declining hardware costs, is helping vendors of computer services and software offer banks products that can strengthen ties with cash management customers.

Technological advances have "suddenly made a lot of things possible" in designing new business applications, Mr. Sparkes said.

"The old rules in cash management, where a corporation dealt with a series of banks across the country, have changed," he said.

"Now, banks realize that they and they alone can service the entire range of cash management needs."

Prior to joining IA Corp., Mr. Sparkes was a principal with Group 1 Communications, a marketing consulting firm.

Mr. Sparkes began his career in 1970 at First Chicago Corp, where he helped launch the bank's original cash management group. Later in the decade, he played a similar role at Wells Fargo & Co.

IA Corp. plans to enhance its check and remittance processing software while building new applications for mortgage and trust operations.

IA Corp. is privately held; 52% is owned by Warburg-Pincus, and 48% by IA managers.

The software company has 130 employees and annual sales of about $30 million, according to the Gartner Group.

Its customers include Mellon Bank Corp., NationsBank Corp., Northern Trust Corp., and Shawmut National Corp., among others.

IA Corp.'s most recent sale was with Bank of the West, San Francisco, which bought the vendor's CheckScan software in December.

The bank will use the software as part of its planned check truncation services to retail customers.

During a test conducted last year, Bank of the West found that 95% of its retail customers opted for the check truncation services.

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