AI & Finance™ | News for the Week Ending 2/23/24

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We like to say that artificial intelligence is going to have a big impact on the financial industry—but that we may be some time away from direct impacts that change the face and shape of wealth management, banking, insurance and investing.

Indirect impacts, however, are already occurring—including one you may not have thought of. Paradoxically, even as more of us are becoming more connected than ever thanks to the proliferation of high-speed internet and mobile devices, web  traffic and web searches are showing a sign of decline—and this paradox is being driven, in part, by AI.

We’re rapidly nearing the end of the traditional internet because of the onset of AI. Until very recently, the best way to answer a question online was to visit your favorite search engine and, using various combinations of syntax and search terms, looking for web pages that offered your answers, using your own judgement and experience to sift the good answers from the bad.

This method of web searching and reading is now obsolete—why poke around on a search engine for the right combination of words and syntax to find what you want when a ChatGPT-like generative AI can do the hard for for you?

Welcome to the post-internet reality, where searching and crawling around the web for information is now the work of machines.

The implication for digital media and finserv marketing best practices are profound.

A new online world is dawning—one that information-seekers will likely embrace. How will information-providers respond?

Let’s get to the AI news below, with announcements from 13 companies, in alpha order…


1. 8 Acre Perspective

According to a survey of 100 financial advisors, the majority (54%) find it challenging to spend as much time as they would like with each client, while more than two-thirds (68%) said scaling their practice is difficult.

The survey, entitled “AI to the Rescue?”, conducted in January 2024 by Totumai, a technology company focused on improving communication between financial advisors and their clients, and the leading financial industry researcher, 8 Acre Perspective, found that advisors are shifting their focus away from investment management to client-facing activities.

When asked where they would prefer to spend their time, just 25% said more time on investment management, while 66% said more time on client-facing activities and 45% want to spend more time on prospecting and marketing.

To date, AI for financial advisors is more theory than practice: Just 12% of advisors currently use AI today, but 48% said they planned to use it. Surprisingly, 40% said they had no plans to use it.

2. AI for Alpha

Ai for Alpha, a fintech company specializing in leveraging machine learning for advanced investment strategies, announced the integration of Gen AI into its asset management models.

By utilizing advanced technologies like RAG (Retrieval Augmented Generation), generative AI can analyze a variety of sources, offering an up-to-date perspective on investor sentiment and market trends. Investment professionals find it valuable to combine the analysis of investor sentiments with market indicators such as trends, risk aversion, and other market factors.

3. Archer

Archer, a provider of fully integrated risk management solutions, announced its acquisition of Compliance.ai, a leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-driven regulatory change management solutions. This acquisition will enable Archer clients to supplement their compliance initiatives with cutting-edge AI technology to automate monitoring, tracking, reporting, and responding to continually changing regulations in real time.

Compliance.ai continuously monitors regulatory updates, applying a patented EITL approach to machine learning and AI to analyze and enrich regulatory activities, thereby improving the compliance lifecycle. It surpasses traditional regulatory change management by automatically mapping regulatory changes to internal policies, procedures, and controls, simplifying obligation management to ensure comprehensive compliance coverage.

4. Behavox

Behavox, a provider of AI-driven compliance solutions, announced that Brevan Howard, a leading global investment manager, has successfully upgraded to Behavox’s Quantum AI solution for its compliance program 2 years after first contracting with Behavox.

Brevan Howard implemented Behavox Quantum AI for text and audio communications following extensive testing and determining that Behavox Artificial Intelligence systems successfully met expectations for explainability, transparency, and change management.

5. Montoux

Montoux, a provider of AI and actuarial modeling technology, announced the launch of Model Copilot, the first-ever generative AI copilot designed specifically for actuaries. This groundbreaking product is set to transform actuarial work by removing 80-90% of the time required to complete common modeling tasks.

Model Copilot boasts an ever-growing suite of features aimed at tackling the complexities of model documentation and governance. By harnessing the power of advanced generative AI, Model Copilot assists actuaries in the understanding, documenting, and maintaining of models with an unprecedented level of clarity, accuracy, and efficiency. By automating the most time-consuming aspects of model documentation and governance, Model Copilot enables actuaries to focus on strategic decision-making and analytical tasks, significantly enhancing productivity and the quality of outputs.

6. Options Technology

Options Technology announced the appointment of Marlena Efstratopoulou as the new Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Marlena’s elevation to this key role marks a pivotal moment for Options as it reinforces its commitment to a unified and robust security strategy.

Having previously served as Chief Risk Officer (CRO) and Chief Security Officer (CSO) at the company, Marlena brings a wealth of experience and a proven record of accomplishment of excellence in cybersecurity and risk management. Her journey at Options began in October 2021 following the acquisition of the Fixnetix division from DXC, where she served as CSO. She succeeds John Gracey, who held the CSO position since 2017.

The decision to combine the roles of CRO and CSO reflects Options strategic shift towards a risk-driven security approach. Marlena’s appointment underscores the company’s aim to integrate security and risk functions seamlessly, leveraging a holistic understanding of the threat landscape to drive informed decisions.

7. Pagaya

Pagaya Technologies, a global technology company delivering artificial intelligence infrastructure for the financial ecosystem, announced that Evangelos Perros has been named as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”), effective immediately.

Perros, who has served as the Company’s Interim CFO since November 2023, was previously the company’s Deputy CFO and Head of Strategic Finance since joining Pagaya in 2021. As both Deputy CFO and then Interim CFO, he has led the finance organization, including the Investor Relations, Corporate Development and Strategy functions. Most recently, Perros led the execution of a $280 million BlackRock-led credit facility to continue to support the Company’s growth.

8. ReachStack

Fresh Finance and ReachStack announced a partnership to integrate a new layer of analytics, AI and intelligence into their next generation of digital content and communication services for Wealth Management customers.

Under the terms of the partnership, FreshFinance, a communications software provider for wealth organizations and their advisors, will now provide the option to seamlessly add ReachStack’s powerful advisor intelligence and client profiling capability into their advisor communication programs.

Also, as part of the arrangement, ReachStack will provide their enterprise wealth management customers the option to add Fresh Finance’s financial articles as an efficient way to scale or fill any gaps in a firm’s branded content programs.

9. RiskOn

RiskOn International, in partnership with Meetkai, announced the launch of the initial version of the askROI.com platform (“askROI”), which is scheduled to go live on or before March 4, 2024. The goal for askROI is to redefine the boundaries of generative artificial intelligence (“AI”) by providing tailored business solutions beyond the conventional scope of traditional large language models (“LLM”), which are static and do not adapt based on individuals’ or businesses’ specific data. Through this vision, the Company intends for askROI to serve as a one stop shop for a business’ AI needs. This will be accomplished through the eventual introduction of additional tools and features that will enable customers to interact with other AI products while utilizing the askROI platform.

askROI is not just another chat assistant; it’s an AI-driven platform engineered to provide instant data insights based upon the customer’s unique data, efficiently transforming complex user queries into actionable answers. By harnessing the latest techniques in search and generative AI, askROI seeks to be an indispensable tool for business professionals, offering streamlined workflow solutions with the potential to save a significant amount of development time.

10. Saifr

Saifr, a compliance solutions provider created by Fidelity Investments, announced the acquisition of capabilities from Giant Oak. Saifr will acquire GOST, an artificial intelligence platform for adverse media screening and monitoring that serves financial institutions. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Giant Oak’s GOST technology platform will expand Saifr’s suite of regulatory technology solutions, which aim to simplify the complex regulatory landscape for risk, compliance, and marketing teams in the financial industry. With this addition, financial institutions will have access to new capabilities across regulatory intelligence, due diligence, risk management analytics, and continuous monitoring.

Giant Oak’s solution, which holds multiple patents, offers best-in-class risk detection and mitigation and will add screening technology leveraging publicly available information to Saifr’s suite of capabilities, in addition to improved operational efficiency, alert detection, and customer screening. The technology complements Saifr’s regulatory solutions, including recent launches of risk interpretation and suggested language AI models to accelerate compliant content creation.

11. Substance Strategy & Creative

Substance Strategy & Creative, a provider of marketing solutions for financial institutions, announced the launch of a groundbreaking new offering, Images of Substance. Powered by artificial intelligence (A.I.), Images of Substance revolutionizes the way financial marketers approach visual branding and content creation with a tool that allows them to differentiate their brand visually, increase control over image selection and significantly reduce stock imagery expenses with a savings of 50 to 75 percent.

Creating a custom image library is quick and convenient. Through a collaborative process, Substance will work directly with clients to define the brand’s image style and editorial theme. In as little as six weeks, marketers will have a custom image style that fits and differentiates their brand and a library of 20, 35 or 60 starter images. Clients will also be able to create new images in the future through an A.I. powered custom image generator that understands and uses the brand’s image guidelines, further enabling brand consistency and lowering dependance on stock image and costs.

12. TIFIN

SEI today announced a strategic investment of $10 million in TIFIN, a leading innovation platform accelerating the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in wealth management. TIFIN’s pace of development and breadth of AI solutions—combined with SEI’s scale, technology, and distribution—will help enhance and personalize client experiences and support business growth.

SEI and TIFIN expect that their strategic partnership will accelerate value and growth for the industry through:

Rapid exploration and solution delivery: Evaluating and testing new ideas quickly with a clear path to build or co-invest in promising opportunities

Access to market innovation: Engaging the financial services ecosystem to share best practices and resources and to stay abreast of the pace of change in AI and wealth technology

Talent development: Empowering growth and learning through access to a greater pool of talent in emerging technologies, as well as externship programs

13. Transparently.AI

Transparently.AI, a Singapore-based maker of artificial intelligence software that detects accounting fraud, has won an investment from Franklin Templeton as part of its admission to the asset manager’s FinTech Incubator program.

Transparently.AI’s software is trained via machine learning to detect accounting red flags in corporate balance sheets. It produces a 0-100 risk score which measures the likelihood and extent to which a company is manipulating its accounts. Asset managers, banks, auditors, exchanges and others can use the product as a due diligence tool to help filter for suspicious accounting, fraud in the accounts and weak corporate governance.