MADISON, Wis. – The .Net Microsoft platform is behind much of the new functionality in CUNA Mutual's revamped Model Management ALM solution. CUNA Mutual will debut the new solution, demos and all, at its 2003 Discovery Conference to be held in Boca Raton, Fla. from June 25-28. The solution is used by about 400 credit unions, many mid-sized and large, including 30% in the top 200 CUs based on assets.CUNA Mutual will begin migrating its clients to the new platform beginning in August. In total, CUNA Mutual has about 1,300 ALM CU clients. A number of smaller CUs are served by its CUPRO program. Model Management's new .Net platform empowers credit unions to get automatic software updates and up-to-date information that is key to ALM, such as prepayment and decay rates, as long as they have a live connection to the Internet. ALM isn't what it used to be in credit union land. With CUs getting more into mortgages and because of other factors, NCUA has become a lot more focused on scenario modeling, hoping to ensure CUs see all the angles of their balance sheet and how economic factors will affect it. "One of the things NCUA is very interested in seeing is how credit unions are impacted under different interest rate environments, the impact on cash flow of the existing balance sheet," said Bob Lindner, VP of Sales and Marketing for CUNA Mutual. That's something all ALM programs are designed to account for, but Lindner said this revamped Model Management has some advantages. One of the biggest being, not only is information dynamic and current because of the Web updating, it also allows credit unions to select from instruments that were pre-certified by an approved certification firm, to see what the effect would be on cash flow and performance. Tom Farin, president of Farin & Associates, a CUNA Mutual partner that helped develop Model Management, said over 150 financial instruments are certified in advance on Model Management. This saves credit unions the hassle of having to go to an outside firm for certification. Farin said though most of the instruments are pretty standard, if there's something not in Model Management, CUNA Mutual can have it pre-certified relatively quickly for a credit union. Farin believes ALM modeling is now much more than just a risk tool, it should work with a CU's strategy, such as should a credit union keep its fixed-rate mortgage portfolio or sell off in the secondary market based on their business goals. "Financials are modeling their liquidity risk dynamically in a context of a plan or strategy," said Farin. The other main advantage CUNA Mutual is touting is data warehouse capabilities. The system uses a Microsoft sequel server platform and is linked to a data warehouse where a credit union can have multiple connections to share the data with other solutions. For example, CUs can link with CUNA Mutual's iPrice to make pricing decisions. A CU's general ledger, loan, deposit, investment data and others can be downloaded to multiple apps using the data warehouse, saving the time of multiple downloads into different apps each month. [email protected]

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