Publisher’s Note: Friends, we’re launching a new media brand called AI & Finance™, and the weekly column you’re reading below (originally published on 1/24/24) will be a major lynchpin.
Our next AI & Finance™ column will be published on 2/1/24 – you can access it weekly through this weblink – https://dwealth.news/category/ai-finance/ai-finance-news/ – or look for it in the weekly AI&F and DWN newsletters – starting in February 2024. You’ll also find it posted on DWN’s social media suite at LinkedIn, X & Facebook.
Stay tuned, and in the meantime, get informed on how AI is touching EVERY corner of finance right here!
Cindy Taylor, Publisher | Digital Wealth News™ | AI & Finance™
AI & Finance™ – News for the Week of 1/23/24
(Next report appearing on 2/1/24 & weekly thereafter)
Artificial intelligence moves fast. Very fast. Like, if-you-take-a-break-and go-out-for-lunch-you-could-come-back-obsolete fast.
It was less than a year ago that the world reeled from an update of OpenAI’s ChatGPT that introduced many consumers and professionals for the first time to functional generative AI.
Now generative AI is everywhere, and new applications for ChatGPT and related technologies are diffusing throughout the financial services industry. While many liken the advent of these new AI launches to the hype surrounding robo-advisors more than a decade ago, there are some key differences.
For one thing, the technology underpinning robo-advisors, sophisticated for its time, is quaint and archaic compared to the power of the AI-satuated applications being launched in 2024.
For another, robo-advisors promised to take just one of the financial industry’s many tasks—allocating an investment portfolio in accordance with someone’s age and risk tolerance—out of human hands. Generative AI can and will automate and streamline thousands–if not tens or hundreds of thousands—of these tasks.
While robo-advisors perhaps, after the dust settled, cost the jobs of a few hundred investment analysts and traders, artificial intelligence will replace human workers across the industry in many different roles, both behind-the-scenes roles and client-facing roles.
And we can’t yet see the full extent of the disruption this new technology will cause. Despite the exhortations from advisor advocates, technologists and financial industry groups, there is a real chance that generative AI is the advisor that finally puts tens of thousands of financial advisors – front line wealth management personnel – forever out of a job.
Do we have your attention? Good.
As we use this feature to explore the latest headlines in financial artificial intelligence to help keep you abreast of the rapid, revolutionary changes technology is pushing the financial services industry towards, we hope to demystify who, how and why AI is becoming a disruptor like no other. Just this week, we have some thought-provoking headlines from the likes of Bloomberg, CogniCor, Finastra and Apollo to get us started, with many more to come in future weeks.
Let’s get to the news, presented in alphabetical order below…..
Alphathena, the Morningstar Fintech Showcase 2023 “Best in Show” winner and leading AI-powered direct indexing platform for Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), has secured a $4-million investment led by ETFS Capital, with Hyde Park Angels (HPA) joining the round. This significant funding fuels Alphathena’s mission to empower advisors with accessible and customizable direct indexing solutions. Now, advisors can better meet their clients’ evolving needs and stand out in a competitive landscape.
The decision for ETFS Capital and HPA to invest in Alphathena comes at a perfect time in the industry, as more advisors seek greater personalization strategies for their clients leveraging direct indexing and tax-loss harvesting — yet many feel they have limited options. By leveraging Alphathena’s AI-driven software and support, more RIAs can differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace while effectively meeting their clients’ investing goals.
25madison, a leading venture platform, announced the launch of 25m Evolve, in partnership with funds managed by Apollo (NYSE: APO), a leading global alternative investment manager. 25m Evolve is an enterprise software venture studio dedicated to incubating AI-native applications.
25m Evolve incubations will leverage the latest advancements in artificial intelligence to help companies, including Apollo Funds’ portfolio companies, adapt to an ever-changing digital landscape, equipping them with the tools to drive operational improvements and better compete and disrupt within and across industries.
ARQA officially announced at the 2024 T3 Technology Conference in Las Vegas the launch of its ARQA AI Platform including two AI-enabled software solutions ARQA AI Chat and KorScript.
At the forefront of the financial AI revolution, ARQA’s AI-enabled platform is dedicated to offering software solutions that empower financial professionals to improve decision-making, modernize reporting and data analytics, and immediately elevate the efficiency of their processes.
ARQA’s AI Chat product is a data-agnostic platform that adapts to any data source, acting as a versatile sidekick to allow anyone to unlock unparalleled insights. The platform allows users to effortlessly scan diverse client portfolios and uncover key information. Through the convergence of intuitive engagement and intelligent analysis, ARQA AI Chat facilitates superior decision-making and empowers wealth management firms to enhance their advisory capabilities.
4. Arteria AI
Continuing its impressive growth, award-winning leader in enterprise documentation infrastructure, Arteria AI, announced that senior banker, Kay Hayre, has joined the company as its latest Strategic Account Director.
Hayre joins Arteria AI from Bank of New York Mellon, where she was a Senior Director, and Head of Business Development for UK and Ireland in the Asset Servicing and Digital Division. Hayre led business development initiatives across UK/Europe, primarily focused on asset managers, banks, broker dealers, insurance and asset owners. Prior to this, Hayre was Managing Director, UK Asset Manager Solutions for State Street. Hayre also held key positions at BNP Paribas Securities Services and IBM UK.
Based in London, Hayre will be responsible for driving new business with a particular focus on large financial institutions.
Arteria AI has recently appointed a number of experienced financial industry professionals to its growing team, including Donna Mansfield, former Managing Director, Global Manager Derivative Documentation and Policy Group at Goldman Sachs; Samantha Lippitt, formerly the Head of Electronic Sales for State Street Global Markets; and Larry Lawrence, former Managing Director and Head of Credit Sales for Société Générale.
5. Ascent Technologies
Ascent Technologies, an innovator and leading provider of AI-enabled compliance automation solutions for financial services companies, announced its acquisition by Edgewater Equity Partners, a private equity firm based in Boston. This strategic acquisition positions Ascent to accelerate development of its compliance automation platform and deliver even greater value to its customers.
Historically, compliance teams have been forced to read endlessly through a deluge of documents from numerous regulators to identify applicable rule changes and analyze their impact – with the constant risk of unknowingly being in non-compliance.
The Ascent platform replaces these slow, costly, manual processes with AI-enabled automation that monitors the financial services regulatory landscape in real time, identifies rule changes and obligations that apply to a company, and notifies stakeholders of applicable rule changes and obligations.
Bloomberg announced the availability of AI-Powered Earnings Call Summaries on the Terminal, which uses the pragmatic application of artificial intelligence to help analysts with their research process. The new tool enables users to decipher complex financial information and quickly extract key insights on topics addressed by corporate management teams, such as guidance, capital allocation, hiring and labor plans, the macro environment, new products, supply chain issues, and consumer demand.
AI-Powered Earnings Call Summaries is designed with a unique approach that combines decades of domain expertise with state-of-the-art generative AI. Bloomberg Intelligence analysts help train the large language models used in this solution to more accurately understand the nuances of financial language and anticipate what’s most important to investors.
In an era where technology continuously reshapes our approach to finance, Capitalise.ai is collaborating with Microsoft, a global artificial intelligence (AI) leader, to introduce cutting-edge text-based services to customers within financial markets. This collaboration marks a significant step forward in enhancing the capabilities available to traders, investors, and financial entities.
At the heart of this collaboration is Microsoft’s unwavering commitment to technological advancement, particularly in enriching Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services with innovative solutions from its partners around the world such as Capitalise.ai. Capitalise.ai has accordingly developed a pioneering solution that fundamentally transforms how traders interact with real-time financial data. This technology is not just about efficient data consumption and automation; it’s about redefining market analysis.
As already a key player in the fintech sector, Capitalise.ai provides its technology to leading brokers and financial entities worldwide, including organizations like Interactive Brokers, Fidelity, and StoneX. With Microsoft’s global reach and cloud infrastructure, the Capitalise.ai platform will now be accessible to an even broader audience, extending the benefits of these advanced text-based services.
CogniCor (the “firm”), a provider of artificial intelligence (AI) enabled digital assistants and business automation platform for the financial services industry, announced the launch of its Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service-enabled enterprise-ready digital assistants for the insurance and wealth management industries.
Intended to maximize an agent or advisor’s time, the firm launched its AI-enabled digital assistants to redefine the professional experience for insurance and wealth management professionals. CogniCor’s digital assistants that offer guidance on compliance processes and forms, and optimize workflows for onboarding, client review meetings, and financial planning use Azure OpenAI Service and are offered through Azure Marketplace and hosted in Azure.
CogniCor carefully selected a client pilot group of technologically progressive wealth management organizations including large broker-dealers, RIAs (registered investment advisors) and TAMPs (turnkey asset management programs). This group includes AssetMark, a TAMP that serves 9,300 financial advisors and supports roughly $100 billion in platform assets, Steward Partners Global Advisory, a 2022 Barron’s Top 100 RIA firm supporting hundreds of advisors across 40 locations, and Shufro Rose & Co., a multi-generational RIA based in New York City.
The pilot group will deploy Azure OpenAI Service-enabled platform enabling them to scale their operations efficiently while providing a differentiated experience to their home office staff, advisors and their clients. This will also allow the firms to test the AI-enabled digital assistants and their connections with OpenAI through Microsoft’s application programming interface (API).
Finastra, a global provider of financial software applications and marketplaces, announced it is working with Databricks, a data and AI company, to provide more value-added solutions and services to its customers and partners globally. The collaboration enables Finastra to further unlock access to its data and deliver additional value with AI, including generative AI (Gen AI) capabilities. It also enhances the quality, performance and security of its product development at a reduced time-to-market.
Using Databricks, Finastra has rolled out a data platform for its developers, Secure Zone. The platform is designed for production-grade data ingestion and engineering, and the discovery of large batch and real-time data. Teams can experiment with and develop prototype AI solutions and production models – both traditional and Gen AI – with full monitoring capabilities, and employ language models for tasks such as content generation, summarization, semantic search and code translation. Finastra’s customers can also access Secure Zone, enabling them to build robust data products and data science models using cutting-edge tools, datasets and pre-trained models, while benefiting from Finastra’s technological expertise.
10. Investor Technology Group
Investor Technology Group – the makers of Mosaic, the world’s leading Digital Deal Modeling platform for private equity investors – announced the release of Mosaic Vision, the first commercially available financial model reader and translator powered by a combination of OpenAI and Mosaic’s proprietary models.
With Mosaic Vision, investors can take a screenshot of financial projections (e.g., from a CIM, pitch book, public company investor presentation, etc.) and by uploading it to Mosaic Vision, be instantly able to (i) adjust growth rates, margins, and other forecast items; (ii) clone upside, base, and downside cases; and (iii) add transaction assumptions to calculate deal returns (e.g., IRR, MOIC, etc.) – all from a static page and without opening a spreadsheet.
11. MindBridge Analytics
MindBridge Analytics, a market maker and global leader in AI-driven financial risk discovery for audit and internal controls, announced the appointment of Stephen DeWitt as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. DeWitt will report to the MindBridge board of directors.
DeWitt is an accomplished executive in the enterprise software and infrastructure markets, with a long track record of establishing leadership positions in nascent markets and creating innovative technology solutions to drive transformative business value. He most recently served as CEO of Cloudbees, a leader in enterprise software delivery. He also served as CEO of WorkMarket, where he led the successful re-invention of the company and its strategic sale to ADP. Stephen also led Cobalt Networks from its earliest stages through its IPO and subsequent acquisition by Sun. At scale, Stephen has held senior executive positions at leading global technology companies including HP, Cisco, Symantec, and Sun Microsystems. Stephen has worked extensively in Canada and lived in both Ontario and BC for years. From HP Canada to WorkMarket, to the earliest days of Symantec in Canada, and most recently serving on the Board of Apply Board, based in Kitchener, Stephen has long-standing roots in the Canadian innovation economy. Stephen holds an undergraduate degree in economics and finance from Babson College in Boston.
Ncontracts, the leading provider of integrated compliance, risk, and vendor management solutions to the financial services industry, announced the launch of its new AI-powered Ntelligent Contracts Assistant module within Nvendor, reducing hours of arduous contract reviews into just minutes.
The Ntelligent Contracts Assistant harnesses artificial intelligence trained by Ncontracts’ legal and contract management experts to quickly extract key information from third-party vendor contracts and agreements, making it possible for financial institutions to easily score, summarize and search contracts.
13. New Relic
New Relic, the all-in-one observability platform for every engineer, announced the findings of its State of Observability for Financial Services and Insurance report, which focuses on the adoption and business value of observability across the financial services industry (FSI) and insurance sectors. The report is based on insights derived from 176 technology professionals in association with the 2023 Observability Forecast. Findings show that organizations in the industry understand the business value of observability and are investing more in it. The top trends driving adoption include migration to multi-cloud (43%), artificial intelligence (40%), an increased focus on customer experience management (35%), and an increased focus on security, governance, risk, and compliance (54%).
Traditional FSI and insurance organizations face an accelerated transformation driven by increased competition and consumers expecting a higher level of digital interactions and access to services without depending on physical services. To keep organizations secure and compliant with new regulations while modernizing and innovating at a rapid pace, engineers rely heavily on observability to ensure end-to-end visibility across complicated tech stacks.
14. Powder Finance
Powder Finance, Inc. (Powder), a fintech innovator in developing next generation tools that help financial advisors streamline and grow their businesses, announced that Powder, a generative artificial intelligence powered tool designed specifically to enhance the sales proposal process, has evolved to a new level of sophistication.
Generative artificial intelligence (generative AI, GAI, or GenAI) is artificial intelligence capable of generating text, images, or other media, using generative models. GenAI models learn the patterns and structure of their input training data and then generate new data that has similar characteristics.
Through feedback from the advisors’ usage, Powder incorporates dynamic data gathering capabilities that allow wealth advisors to easily glean pertinent summarized information, conduct analysis and produce beautiful presentation decks in minutes. Powder’s automated AI proposal process increases wealth advisors’ efficiency, enhances value to prospects, and improves client acquisition. Powder’s new applied GenAI functionality includes secure and compliant summarization of current and prospective client meetings, with AI generated tasks and service or proposal details.
AI-powered vault platform RoboNet is announcing its beta launch. RoboNet, built on Upshot’s AI infrastructure, allows capital providers to deposit into vaults managed by AI-powered strategies. This gives people access to much more advanced DeFi strategies by leveraging AI, going beyond what was previously achievable with traditional onchain yield-generating strategies.
The first phase of RoboNet will concentrate on market making for long-tail assets (RWAs, onchain gaming items, generative art, etc). Previously, the requirements for successful market making––including infrastructure, strategies, capital, and other business considerations––were prohibitively complex and resource-intensive. RoboNet automates this process with advanced ML models for predicting long-tail asset prices, driving liquidity to long-tail assets.
Saifr, a compliance solutions provider that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and help correct regulatory compliance and brand risks in financial services marketing content, will be featured in an episode of Advancements with Ted Danson, focusing on how AI can improve compliance processes.
The educational segment explores how technology and digitization can reduce inefficiencies and complexities in financial services compliance workstreams. Vall Herard, Co-Founder and CEO; Arindam Paul, Head of AI; David Johnston, Chief Technology Officer; and Mona Vernon, most recent Head of Fidelity Labs describe how AI-enabled solutions, like Saifr, can streamline many of the industry’s repetitive, time-consuming processes to increase accuracy and efficiency.
Simplifai, the secure AI Automation provider, and Contemi Solutions, trusted financial technology provider to insurance, asset and wealth management, banking and capital markets industries, announced the latest customer acquisition, TT Forsikring, a Norwegian Insurance Provider. Together, they will take TT Forsikring into a new era of operational excellence and customer service innovation.
TT Forsikring, an emerging player in the insurance industry, has trusted Simplifai’s cutting-edge AI Automation solution to allow efficient scalability, in order to gain a competitive edge against the bigger competitors. The deployment of AI technology by the insurance company is done to enhance its operational efficiency, elevate its customer experience, and grow with higher conversion and lower cost securing a formidable place in the highly competitive insurance market.
18. The Tokenizer
The Tokenizer is proud to launch the global regulatory service – The Token RegRadar – in a groundbreaking new version featuring a powerful AI integration.
The core of The Token RegRadar is an extensive, domain-specific database built from scratch by The Tokenizer’s team over the past three years. This regulatory database contains legal texts, lawsuits, industry reports, interviews and much more. It currently covers more than 80 jurisdictions, and it is continuously updated through numerous sources and will continue to grow in the future.
By integrating a customised GPT – Generative Pre-trained Transformer – AI solution designed to utilise The Token RegRadar’s specialised data, it is possible now to offer an extremely powerful service that enables users to seek regulatory information in seconds about almost any aspect of the domain of asset tokenization and digital asset.
The Token RegRadar is a service developed to assist a wide range of professionals in the space of asset tokenization and digital assets. Law firms that need fast access to updated regulatory information from across the globe, regulatory authorities, FSAs, governments, analysts, and several other categories of players within the industry, such as issuance companies, exchanges, banks, custodians, service providers and more. Finally, The Token RegRadar, in its AI-enabled version, can be a highly useful tool for asset owners and companies conducting token issuances.
WealthArc, a Swiss born global wealth data management solution provider, has partnered with ZeroLink, a pioneering company in neurosymbolic KGQA technology, to develop WealthArc AI & Analytics – a cutting-edge machine learning-powered “Chat with your data” service tailored for the wealth management space.
The integration of ZeroLink’s technology in the development of WealthArc AI & Analytics enables a game-changing approach for wealth management to effortlessly access, navigate, and comprehend complex data sets.
WealthArc empowers wealth managers, family offices, trustees and other wealth owners with a state-of-the-art data management platform aggregating globally over 200k positions every day.
With the increasing amount of wealth data available, the barrier to retrieve actionable insights is increasing. WealthArc recognized this pressing issue and sought to offer an innovative solution that would allow individuals and institutions to interact with wealth data in an easy and effective manner.