Sendero Corp., a leading vendor of asset and liability management software, is in the midst of a critical change to its product line.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based vendor is releasing new software to help banks better understand their finances, and revamping its core asset and liability management software to be faster, more informative, and easier to use.

Sendero's ability "to grow and be a preeminent provider of financial management software is really hanging on successful implementation of these systems," said Peri Pierone, Sendero's senior vice president of corporate planning.

Founded in 1982, Sendero was purchased 1985 by the computer services firm Fiserv Inc., Milwaukee.

Focus on Asset-Liability

Since its founding, Sendero has focused primarily on supplying software called the Sendero Model that bankers use to analyze their portfolios of assets and liabilities for exposure to interest rate fluctuations, and other market changes.

Last year Sendero expanded its product line by buying the rights to a competing software package called Realm that Chase Manhattan Corp. had sold to more than 100 banks, mostly in Europe.

A combined total of 956 banks, thrifts, and credit unions now use Realm and the Sendero Model, according to Sendero officials.

Sendero is a solidly profitable and growing enterprise that contributes almost 5% of Fiserv's revenues. which totaled $332 million in 1992, said Kenneth Jensen, Fiserv's chief financial officer.

Stiffer Competition

But the company also faces heightened competition, and a compelling need to incorporate the newest personal computer technologies, bankers and Sendero officials said.

Evidence of the need for change came earlier this year, when a key client, U.S. Bancorp of Portland, Ore., defected to a small rival of Sendero's because the smaller vendor was selling more sophisticated software than Sendero could deliver at the time, said Phill Rowley, senior vice president of the bank's asset-and-liability management division.

Sendero is also feeling heat from a another rival, Treasury Services Corp., which has landed deals in recent years with several leading banks, including Banc One Corp., Columbus, Ohio.

Blueprint for Change

Sendero has a two-part plan in place, called Sendero Vision, to move to a new generation of technology, said Mr. Pierone.

One part of the plan calls for Sendero to upgrade its core asset and liability management software, which runs on personal computers with the DOS operating system.

The upgrade calls for the software, named SVAL, to incorporate the Microsoft Corp. Windows graphical user interface, and powerful relational database management technology that will enable SVAL to analyze financial information faster and in greater detail than Realm or the Sendero Model can.

SVAL is scheduled to be generally available by the beginning of the second quarter.

Sendero is also broadening its product line with new financial analysis software.

Introduced to Market

The first of the new applications, one dubbed funds transfer pricing, and another called profitability analysis and reporting, are just now coming to market.

These packages are intended to help help banks measure the profitability of departments and customers by comparing the revenues generated with funding costs and noninterest expenses.

Software to help banks manage their investment portfolios, including their holdings of collateralized mortgage obligations, is due out in the second quarter.

Software to help banks prepare budgets is due out in the third quarter.

A powerful new database management system that will feed information to all of the new applications is due out in December.

And a so-called executive information system, to let management view summarry graphs and charts of a bank's finances, is due out late next year.

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