AI & Finance™ | News for the Week Ending 5/10/24

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We’re coming up on the four-month anniversary for AI & Finance, but it seems like we’ve been writing about the artificial intelligence revolution brewing in the financial sector for much longer, in part because AI itself has come a long way in such a short amount of time. 

This week alone, if we were to expand our horizons beyond the purely financial applications of AI, there were dozens of announcements coming out of conferences and launch events for tech companies like Red Hat and Apple that added to the new technology’s acceleration—but we also saw some major developments in the financial sector that are worth spotlighting here: 

AI Risk announced a generative AI platform built specifically for registered investment advisors that it bills as the first of its kind to comply with SEC rules. The Digital Design Institute at Harvard is partnering with JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft and Boston Consulting to explore new applications for AI and data science to solve business challenges. 

Just Build It acquired Cody AI in an effort to become a data-warehousing and enterprise AI specialist for the financial sector, while SRA Consulting is partnering with technologists at 4M group to explore AI-augmented risk solutions for the banking sector.  

Upstart is launching coursework and certifications for AI in financial services, and Accenture announced a partnership with Oracle to invest in generative AI applications for finance executives using the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. 

Not only are companies making major investments in implementing the technology internally, but other resources—including a lot of collective brain power—are pouring into discovering new use cases and applications for artificial intelligence and related technologies in financial services, and into preparing people who work in finance to use the new technologies. 

This is strong evidence that we’re not just whistling “Dixie” when we’re discussing AI and Finance, and that the momentum behind AI is not merely a bubble driven by eye-popping analyst forecasts. 

We can consider the rest of today’s list of 20 financial AI headlines, which also includes items from Advisor360, Visa, Rocket Companies and Wolters Kluwer, our “exhibit B.” 

READ ON…..


1. Accenture 

Building on their ecosystem partnership of more than 30 years, Accenture and Oracle are investing in new generative AI solutions, tools, and trainings to help organizations maximize the value of their data to drive next-level growth and continuous innovation. 

Together, Accenture and Oracle will help clients across industries reinvent their businesses with generative AI, moving from experimentation to adoption at scale. The companies will leverage Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Generative AI to help increase efficiency, improve resilience, and deliver superior customer and employee experiences, while keeping client’s data private and secure. With an initial focus on driving digital finance transformation across industries, new generative AI-powered OCI solutions can provide finance teams with real-time data analysis and recommendations, transforming how decisions are made. 

For chief financial officers (CFOs), generative AI can help speed tasks that were once arduous, time-intensive and manual, simplifying finance processes, accounting closes, filings and planning. 

2. Advisor360 

GWN Securities, a national independent broker-dealer and RIA, has chosen Advisor360° to deliver its unified multi-custodial Account Opening solution and flexible wealth management platform as the new foundation for its technology stack. The move reinforces the firm’s deep commitment to serving its independent financial advisors’ businesses and delivering an elevated user experience to clients. 

GWN’s financial advisors will benefit from several of Advisor360°’s wealth management technology solutions, including Account Opening, Advisor Experience, Data and Reporting, and Client Portal. Advisors will have a streamlined, unified multi-custodial account opening experience across all investment assets and product types, as well as a fully integrated advisor desktop experience, with a new end-client portal for increased online collaboration with investors, wealth planning tools and access to investment and insurance products. These enhancements further affirm GWN’s commitment to being the firm-of-choice for independent advisors seeking new ways to accelerate growth and serve clients more efficiently. 

Advisor360° helps increase productivity and optimize workflows for advisors with a flexible suite of AI-enabled solutions that work in harmony and integrate directly into existing technology stacks – whether firms opt for one solution at a time or combine several solutions as part of their digital transformation. 

3. Ai For Alpha 

Ai For Alpha, a pioneering fintech specialized in AI investment strategies, announced the launch of its “CTA Flows Oracle” technology. 

The “CTA Flows Oracle” predicts flows of Managed Futures funds across all major asset classes. This innovative approach leverages Ai For Alpha’s unique technology for replicating hedge fund strategies. 

Ai For Alpha is a provider of generative AI and AI-powered investment models to large financial institutions in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.  

4. Armanino 

Armanino introduced a suite of artificial intelligence tools and time-saving automated solutions to drive efficiency and high-quality service for family offices. To spearhead this initiative, John Stewart, Partner and Strategy & Transformation leader at Armanino, joins the Family Office leadership team, co-leading alongside Chris Mays, Partner at Armanino. Together, they will direct the implementation of Armanino’s new AI and automation services to support family offices across the country. 

Armanino can now create customized AI tools to fully automate complex processes, such as investment due diligence, grant identification and application support, and advanced financial modeling. This creates a more efficient operational model that can significantly enhance decision-making. 

5. Artificial Intelligence Risk 

Artificial Intelligence Risk, Inc. (AI Risk, Inc.) announced the launch of RIA GPT, a new software platform providing safe, secure, generative-AI for registered investment advisors (RIAs). The platform, the first of its kind, complies with all SEC confidentiality, recordkeeping, and cybersecurity rules for RIAs. 

RIA GPT features “AI agents” that save advisors and their firms both time and money. AI Agents are essentially AI tools that provide specialized services within the AI Risk (AIR) platform suite. Examples of AI Agents include “personal assistant,” “business strategist,” “legal disclaimer writer,” “sales consultant,” “marketing strategist,” and “programming assistant.” The Enterprise version of the software can also integrate with Outlook, leading CRM systems, and a given RIA’s proprietary data and documents, such as client portfolios. This creates a seamless and robust generative AI solution that improves productivity and client outcomes, while also managing regulatory and security concerns. 

Founded in 2023 by Alec Crawford and Frank Fitzgerald, AI Risk’s team has decades of experience in artificial intelligence, financial services, risk management, and compliance. The company focuses on rapid (one hour) private cloud deployment and strict data confidentiality, enabling secure and regulatory-compliant use of AI and generative-AI technologies for organizations across the globe.  

6. The Digital Data Design Institute at Harvard 

The Digital Data Design Institute at Harvard (D^3), a global research center focused on using AI and digital technologies to advance business and society, announced two multi-year corporate partnerships and one research partnership, a first since the Institute’s inception in 2022. The corporate partners include JPMorgan Chase and Boston Consulting Group, who will work with D^3 to conduct scientific research focused on digital transformation and how to best leverage AI and data science to solve business challenges. Microsoft joins D^3 as its first research partner. 

In partnering with JPMorgan Chase and BCG, D^3 will be focused on furthering the firms’ aggressive AI strategies. D^3 will work with top-level executives to share the latest insights on how businesses around the world are changing, allowing executives an opportunity to embrace new programs and strategic direction which will increase their competitiveness. 

D^3 and researchers at Microsoft will engage with a coalition of companies on task-specific research and learning opportunities to identify the best use of Generative AI and new operating model options within the company-specific environment and ensure employees at all levels understand the transformational opportunity ahead of them.  

7. Feedzai 

Feedzai has appointed David Larson as its new Chief Financial Officer as the firm enters its phase of growth and expansion. 

Founded in 2011, Feedzai’s RiskOps platform now protects approximately a billion people globally, analyzing over $6 trillion in payments at 3000 transactions per second to prevent fraud. Powered by big data and machine learning, Feedzai has built the most advanced risk management platform, trusted by major institutions worldwide. A global company, with 10 international offices and 600+ employees, Feedzai has firmly established itself as the market leader in fighting financial crime with AI. 

David joins from Thomson Reuters, where he spent nearly 15 years and was most recently its Chief Strategy Officer. He has extensive experience in global finance, corporate development and M&A in large-scale businesses with multiple product lines driving sustainable and profitable organic growth. David was also integral in creating the Governance, Risk and Compliance division for Thomson Reuters, including the acquisition of World-Check (a database used around the world to help identify and manage financial, regulatory and reputational risk and perform KYC) now owned by LSEG. 

8. Fintica AI 

Fintica AI, a provider of next-generation AI for the financial industry, and Spark Systems, a global foreign exchange trading platform, have announced a strategic partnership. 

This strategic partnership will enable Spark Systems to accelerate its business development and market reach in Singapore and globally by bringing Fintica AI’s unique unsupervised artificial intelligence technology to its client base. 

The finance sector in Singapore has witnessed a remarkable transformation in recent years, with the growing importance and relevance of AI technology as well as a rapidly expanding foreign exchange market at its forefront. Singapore has positioned itself as a global financial hub, and its financial institutions are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence to pursue efficiency and profitability. AI-powered solutions, such as those created by Fintica AI, have revolutionized various aspects of finance, from AI-augmented investment decision and risk management to enhanced market liquidity and monitoring. 

9. Incode 

Incode is now part of the Global FinTech Alliance. This initiative, originating from Spain, aims to advance global digital finance and provide a secure system for identity verification and authentication, with the potential to significantly reduce fraud. Incode seeks to establish partnerships with major companies across sectors such as banking, fintech, hospitality, airlines, and government. 

This alliance was signed by representatives from the European Digital Finance Association (EDFA), the FinTech Alliance Iberoamerica (FIA), the Africa FinTech Network (AFN), and the Digital ASEAN & Digital Philippines & IDEA. These organizations represent the foremost continental associations spanning Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, marking a significant milestone in interregional cooperation. Their collaboration aims to promote the adoption of best practices in business, legislation, financial technology, and to foster innovation through enhanced cooperation. 

Incode’s technology is powered by artificial intelligence, offering a fully automated, precise, and human-error-free solution to ensure accurate, reliable, and secure validation processes. Identity verification typically takes an average of five seconds per person. This advanced system incorporates over 30 validations, including passive liveness detection, which utilizes AI and machine learning to prevent unauthorized access and transactions, such as those involving bank accounts, from being compromised by photographs, videos, or synthetic identities created using AI. 

10. Intain 

Intain announced the acquisition of IN-D.ai, a company specializing in the transformation of unstructured documents and data into actionable insights. IN-D.ai, headquartered in Singapore, with a development team in India, started in 2019 with Intain’s then AI Lab forming its core. 

As an independent venture, over the last five years, IN-D.ai expanded its reach beyond its initial focus, collaborating with prominent banks, insurers, and fund managers to automate document processing, reducing cost and operational risks. Its technology has been used in diverse projects including zero-touch partner onboarding for a leading ride-hailing service and a pilot with the Government of India to enhance the accessibility of consumer dispute cases. 

IN-D.ai already significantly contributes to Intain’s Verification Agent module, where its technology supports the verification and certification of loan documents to improve efficiency and accuracy. This technology recently facilitated the expedited review and certification of a 5,000-loan pool, comprising over 55,000 pages, in less than two hours. 

11. Just Build It 

Just Build It (JBI) announced the strategic acquisition of advanced AI platform Cody AI into JBI’s marketing and sales product division, JBI Studios, forming new product offering ‘AI Suite’. The acquisition and formation of ‘AI Suite’ establishes JBI as a trailblazer in sophisticated data warehousing and enterprise AI for financial services. 

In addition, JBI also unveiled complementary partnerships with global marketing and communication agencies Cognito and Metia for distribution. This series of strategic moves marks JBI’s first public announcement since its inception, signaling a major move to bring AI technology into the deep vertical of the financial sector. 

JBI’s acquisition of Cody AI into JBI Studios positions them at the forefront of markets eager for innovation, with the adoption and integration of AI leading crucial conversations worldwide. Cody AI’s platform will leverage JBI’s decades of data warehousing and data modeling expertise. JBI’s founders are well known for the creation of fintech giant InvestCloud, a cloud-based data warehousing platform with over $6 trillion of assets. 

12. Kaiju Worldwide 

Kaiju Worldwide (“Kaiju”), an ecosystem of technology research companies specializing in predictive artificial intelligence-based financial products, announced that its RS2 trading strategy, an AI-operated system based on option ratio spreads, has been valued at over $190 million (US) by one of the largest independent global valuation firms. The valuation process, conducted between December 31, 2023, and March 29, 2024, demonstrates Kaiju’s sustained ability to develop and implement high-value AI-driven trading strategies. This determination brings the total value of Kaiju’s global intellectual property (IP) up to $660 million (US). 

Kaiju believes that RS2 is the most effective AI-operated momentum strategy commercially available. RS2’s price momentum detection system identifies strong low-to-high underlying signals prior to the stock price moves they accompany, which allows RS2 to effectively capitalize on the price action that follows. RS2 and its supporting systems factor historical and real-time market data, data features, and a fund’s current portfolio into its decision-making process. In practice, this means that investors who utilize RS2 can take advantage of an automated put ratio spread operated through a “buy and hold” technique that requires little or no intervention from traders once positions are executed. 

RS2 has been thoroughly tested. Its development began in Q4 2021, with Kaiju’s AI and data sciences teams progressing through multiple levels of development and testing between 2021 and 2023. RS2 is currently live in a simulated setting. The forecast of performance calculated under both the model and live settings is consistent with similar factors included in determining RS2’s valuation. 

13. Rocket Companies 

Rocket Companies announced Shawn Malhotra as its first ever group Chief Technology Officer (CTO), effective May 6, 2024. 

In this role, Malhotra will oversee the development and implementation of technology across the entire Rocket Companies’ ecosystem, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) development, Data Science, Product Engineering, Technology Operations and Information Security – among other areas. 

Previously, Malhotra held a variety of technology leadership roles at Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI). Most recently, he was the Head of Engineering and Product Development for the entire company. Under Malhotra’s oversight, Thomson Reuters established a platform to accelerate development of generative AI solutions, while introducing an industry-leading AI assistant spanning all Thomson Reuters products. Previously, Malhotra served as the CTO of Thomson Reuters’ Corporate Technology business unit. When he joined the company in 2017, he was instrumental in founding Thomson Reuters’ Toronto Technology Centre, prioritizing AI talent and expanding TR Labs – the company’s division dedicated to research around AI and other technological innovation. 

14. Saifr 

Saifr, a compliance solutions provider that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help financial services firms mitigate regulatory risks, announced expanded AI capabilities that help firms develop compliant, marketing-optimized content more efficiently. 

Saifr’s new, AI-enabled compliance analytics can now detect comparison, ranking, and rating claims; performance claims made about investment options; testimonials; and references to tax-free or tax-exempt income. Additionally, expanded AI models for marketing optimization can determine grade-level readability. 

These features join Saifr’s existing suite of marketing compliance capabilities that flag promissory, misleading, exaggerated, unwarranted, or not fair and balanced text; detect non-compliant images; explain the risk of flagged content; suggest more compliant alternate phrasing; and recommend disclosures.  

15. Smarsh 

Smarsh announced the appointment of Dr. Maureen Schumacher as its new Chief Marketing Officer. With a proven career in driving marketing transformation, she is set to lead Smarsh’s marketing initiatives into a new era of growth and engagement. 

Dr. Schumacher brings more than 25 years of experience in digital marketing, communications, and brand strategy. In her new role, she will focus on leveraging the company’s innovative history, robust product portfolio, and customer trust to build on its existing growth model. 

Her appointment comes as Smarsh continues to grow as a strategic partner to the world’s largest financial institutions. Its AI-powered platform enables customers to meet stringent regulatory compliance obligations governing the oversight of digital communications and to surface business-critical intelligence from their communications data – at global, petabyte scale. 

16. SmartStream 

SmartStream, the financial Transaction Lifecycle Management (TLM) solutions provider, announced the successful implementation of its TLM Reconciliations Premium Digital Payments Control solution at AYA Bank, Myanmar’s premier banking institution. This implementation marks a significant advancement for the bank’s digital transformation journey. 

The industry has seen a recent surge in transaction volumes and AYA Bank recognised the need for an innovative tool capable of efficiently processing the influx of payment transactions. SmartStream’s TLM Reconciliations Premium Digital Payments Control will streamline various tasks including reconciliations, settlement, fee computation, and dispute resolution. Leveraging AI capabilities, the solution will facilitate rapid system adoption and comprehensive management of the bank’s transaction lifecycles. In addition, it will introduce a real-time oversight layer, further enhancing transaction transparency and automating accounting processes. These enhancements will enable AYA Bank to mitigate risks and reduce operational expenses effectively. 

Delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS), the solution eliminates the need for AYA Bank to manage and maintain IT environments and underlying systems related to reconciliations and exceptions management processes. This also provides availability of the solution through contractual SLAs, allowing AYA Bank to focus solely on its core business functions and deliver enhanced value to its customers. 

17. SRA Consulting 

In a landmark development signaling a new era in banking risk management, SRA Consulting and 4M Group are delighted to announce their strategic partnership. This alliance combines SRA Consulting’s unmatched expertise in risk and compliance advisory with 4M Group’s (4MG) technology driven ecosystem. Together, they are setting a new standard for data driven and AI augmented risk solutions that substantially improve measuring, modeling, reporting, and optimizing across all risk categories including Capital, Credit, and Interest Rate Risk. In the banking sector, they provide comprehensive solutions tailored to address the distinct challenges and strategic objectives of financial institutions, particularly in strengthening their control frameworks while enhancing efficiency. 

SRA and 4MG are thrilled to announce the launch of a groundbreaking and first-of-its-kind Proprietary AI Risk Maturity Framework to the banking industry. SRA’s AI Risk Framework was developed to enable banks to effectively prepare for and manage AI from a risk, regulatory, and Board oversight perspective. This Framework includes the capability to quantify the bank’s level of maturity and identify gaps that require remediation or investments. Reach out for further updates and insights. 

18. Upstart 

Upstart announced the launch of the online course “AI in Financial Services.” This first-of-its-kind professional certification program is designed to provide executives in financial services with the knowledge and skills they need to advance their careers and help lead the AI transformation in their organizations. 

The foundation course provides a firm grounding in the potential for AI in financial services —with a particular focus on credit—as well as practical tools to help participants begin the journey of applying AI inside their organizations. 

The course is taught by Upstart’s experts in AI, banking, and risk who’ve worked closely with financial institutions, regulators, and consumers to implement this groundbreaking technology.  

19. Visa 

Visa announced updates to its Visa Account Attack Intelligence (VAAI) offering with the addition of the VAAI Score, a new tool that uses generative AI components to identify and score enumeration attacks. The VAAI Score, which will be available to U.S. issuers first, will help reduce fraud and operational losses by assigning each transaction with a risk score in real time to detect and prevent enumeration attacks in card-not-present (CNP) transactions. 

Thirty three percent of enumerated accounts experienced fraud within five days of a fraudster obtaining access to their payment information2. By using generative AI, components to learn normal and abnormal transaction patterns, Visa’s VAAI Score identifies the likelihood of complex enumeration attacks in real-time to help reduce fraud without compromising the integrity of Visa’s performance and accuracy. The tool has been able to reduce the false positive rate by 85% compared to other risk models, as the VAAI Score focuses on specific signals for enumeration allowing for a stronger performance3.  

The VAAI Score model has been trained on more than 15 billion VisaNet transactions and has six times the number of features compared to previous VAAI models to help better assess suspicious enumeration transactions. Visa’s approach uses noisy data to train the highly accurate real time AI model. By evaluating each CNP transaction against enumeration patterns, the new risk scoring model derives a two-digit risk score that helps predict the likelihood of enumeration to help better determine when to approve, and when to decline, transaction. 

20. Wolters Kluwer 

Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting (TAA) announced AI-enabled enhancements to CCH AnswerConnect, its flagship tax, accounting, and audit research product. The all-encompassing research platform now leverages GenAI to generate responses within its natural language Q&A function enriching the search experience and 

The new GenAI enhanced search functionality allows for natural language queries from trusted sources within Wolters Kluwer content and helps customers understand recent tax law changes, prepare tax returns and identify tax planning opportunities. The solution conveniently cross-references the Internal Revenue Code, income tax regulations and administrative guidance delivering timely intelligence. Natural language queries answer the user’s questions in an easy-to-understand format to enable quick comprehension and minimize time analyzing the tax code. 

Additionally, CCH AnswerConnect has introduced “AI Labs”, allowing clients to preview beta versions of AI features in development. The AI Labs initiative is an invitation-only program for existing clients leveraging direct feedback and truly partnering on the next generation of AI-enabled products and solutions before they are launched.