Small California Company Selling to Big Names
Crockett, Barton, American Banker
A handful of regional banks this year are helping a small California technology company get off the ground by buying the vendor's software for managing assets and liabilities.
The vendor, Risk Management Technologies of Berkeley, Calif., was founded in 1989 by Dave LaCross, a former Bank-America Corp. senior vice president. "We have a tiger by the tail," said Mr. LaCross, referring to the company's recent sales spurt.
In its first three years, Risk Management sold its Radar asset-liability management software to five financial institutions, including Sears Mortgage Group, California Federal Bank, and Fidelity Bank of Los Angeles.
So far this year, the company has escalated the sales pace, reeling in big contracts with U.S. Bancorp of Portland, Ore., and Great Western Financial Corp. of Chatsworth, Calif. And the company is nearing a deal with Chemical Banking Corp., New York, according to knowledgeable sources.
Mr. Lacross said that Risk Management expects to sign up between eight and 12 additional customers this year, including a handful of the world's 10 largest' banks, before taking a break in sales to make sure the new customers have their software installed properly.
These sales are good news for a privately held vendor that employs only nine people and sells only the Radar package.
The banks that have bought Radar are also hoping for good news -- namely, that the software will help improve profits by minimizing exposure to fluctuating interest rates and other financial maelstroms.
"If we can [improve profits] by one basis point, that's big dollars," said Phill Rowley, senior vice president of U.S. Bancorp's asset liability management division. …