AI & Finance™ | News for the Week Ending 5/17/24

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With artificial intelligence in finance, technology is no longer a path out of the pitfalls of money behaviors. 

Over the past half century, the financial services industry has been transformed by the discipline of behavioral finance, which expanded the thinking around wealth management, banking and retirement beyond discussions of assets and liabilities, pure dollars and cents, to the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of individuals and groups. 

Behavioral finance found that financial success is at least as impacted by biases behaviors driven by thoughts and feelings as it is by purely objective numbers of gains and losses. Technology has often been offered as an escape from those biases. 

But artificial intelligence, AI, is a different type of technology, one that is more capable of importing and being influenced by the biases of its creators and users. That’s but one of the reasons for the slow adoption of AI in finance. A recent paper from the Canadian Info-Tech Research Group uncovers some of the biases that may be found in the current generation of generative AI applications. 

For example, sample bias is when a generative AI’s “database does not fully represent the global population, often skewed by the lower scholarly standards of web-based sources,” and ignorance bias occurs when the “software has a natural bias against learning and reflection. Therefore, (a generative AI) is inadaptive and incapable of learning from failure or change.” 

Other biases come more directly from users and creators. Programmatic morality bias occurs when developers introduce “subjective artificial ‘morality’ within the AI based on their own assumptions, influencing its responses and potentially compromising its neutrality.” Overton Window bias occurs when an AI manipulates “content to fit within socially acceptable norms at the expense of truth, occasionally producing content that is deliberately untrue or misleading.” 

AI is coming of age in an era where we’re still struggling with globalization and the deep rifts within and between cultures when it comes to representation, morality and norms. The norms instilled in generative AI applications by creators and users will inevitably come to be adopted by others around the world. 

AI programmers aren’t just creating digital assistants and tools for the financial services industry, they’re also creating culture and the safeguards between which culture will be created by other industries. I think it behooves everyone to pay attention to what kind of world they’re creating. 

Today’s list of 17 financial AI headlines, which includes items from AppCrown, Broadridge, Intention.ly, Modern Treasury and Wolters Kluwer. 

READ ON…..


1. 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. 

2. Andrew Davidson & Co. 

Andrew Davidson & Co. announced the acquisition of the mortgage modeling capabilities of Infima Technologies, Inc. (Infima), a pioneer of AI systems for fixed-income market participants. This acquisition provides AD&Co with Infima’s cutting-edge, deep-learning technologies. 

Infima, a venture-backed Stanford University spin-off founded in 2020, has developed large-scale deep learning systems that analyze the behavior of tens of millions of borrowers at the most granular level. These systems harness billions of data points spanning multiple economic cycles and deliver forecasts of borrower, security, and market behavior across a wide range of market environments. 

3. AppCrown 

AppCrown, a privately held technology company based in New York, is pleased to announce the leading Digital Advisor Messaging Service for asset management firms, solving the critical hurdle of reaching more relationships and investment advisors through secured Enterprise CRM platforms such as Salesforce Financial Services Cloud (“FSC”). AppCrown selected Future Advice as the delivery partner to help deliver the Future of Wealth & Asset Management. 

Wealth & Asset management firms face tremendous hurdles to connect with relationships in this ever-evolving digital era. In the face of AI-led promises and CRM implementation hurdles, wealth & asset management firms must go beyond client portals and asset management website tracking technologies, such as cookies, and beyond manual email-based outreach strategies. For these reasons, AppCrown’s Digital Advisor Messaging Service was launched in Q4’2023, enabling independent RIAs and institutional asset management firms to expand relationship capacity by nearly 200% over three months. Zero Touch unlocks AUM growth capacity. 

By using AppCrown’s Digital Advisor Messaging Service, wealth & asset management firms can securely extend Salesforce Financial Services Cloud beyond lead management capabilities into a pro-active lead/client feedback engine. AppCrown selected Future Advice to deliver the Future of Asset Management. Future Advice is a leading market research firm that works with asset management firms to restructure their digital strategy through a hybrid “Asset One” framework. 

4. Associated Banc Corp 

Associated Banc-Corp announced the expansion of its product and marketing leadership team with the addition of Chun Schiros as senior vice president, chief analytics officer. Schiros will focus on enhancing the bank’s ability to access and use data effectively and efficiently to attract, deepen and retain customer relationships across all lines of business, including consumer, small business, corporate banking and private wealth. 

The addition of Schiros is driven in part by the company’s multi-year strategic plan to bolster talent and technology in key business units to integrate customer feedback and insights to deliver targeted product and service enhancements that improve the customers’ banking experience and deepen their relationships. 

Schiros joins the company from Regions Bank, where she served as head of enterprise data science and successfully led end-to-end development and delivery of predictive models, advanced data analytics, automated insights and reporting, AI and machine learning products. Schiros has been recognized as a leader and innovator in data and analytics by American Banker Magazine and Corinium Global Intelligence for her drive for advanced modeling, automation using AI, and improved bottom-line performance. 

5. Broadridge Financial Solutions 

LTX, a subsidiary of Broadridge Financial Solutions announced its integration with MultiLynq, a provider of electronic fixed income trading connectivity and integration solutions, to accelerate connectivity to the LTX platform. Solutions like MultiLynq assist dealers and other market participants in more quickly onboarding to LTX, joining the 35+ dealers and 90+ asset managers already on the AI-powered corporate bond trading platform. 

Through MultiLynq, dealers can more easily integrate LTX into their existing infrastructure, avoiding the need to deploy their own resources by leveraging MultiLynq’s high-performance API and team of industry experts. The integration will offer an alternative to direct connection, facilitating a swift and flexible implementation process and resulting in time- and cost-savings. Users can now effortlessly integrate with LTX while retaining their preferred front-end interfaces and communicating with downstream systems, ensuring seamless workflows. 

6. Intention.ly 

Intention.ly, the growth engine design consultancy firm transforming the way finserv and fintech companies approach marketing, announced a partnership with Idea Decanter, a company hyper-focused on getting results from video marketing for advisors. Together, through their Trust Builder Toolkit, Intention.ly and Idea Decanter will help financial advisors capitalize on the tremendous growth potential of video marketing and testimonial content while maintaining compliance with the SEC’s new marketing rule. 

On the heels of launching the proprietary advisor branding platform Advisor Brand Builder — co-engineered by finserv brand pioneers Melissa Thomas, partner & Head of Strategy and Kelly Waltrich, co-founder & CEO — Intention.ly continues to drive innovation in financial advisor marketing via the power of technology. 

With the Trust Builder Toolkit, financial advisors will be able to create three testimonial videos in alignment with the SEC’s new marketing rule using Idea Decanter’s remote studio, Idea Kit. This begins with content ideation and custom story formatting, and includes lighting and audio equipment, guided recording sessions, as well as professional post-production. 

7. Modern Treasury 

Modern Treasury introduced new innovations to its Reconciliation product and AI tools to help companies automate complex reconciliation challenges. Reconciliation is powered by the RISE engine, Modern Treasury’s proprietary technology that relays, integrates, structures, and enhances financial workflows; these refinements enable companies to reconcile with precision at scale. 

Key Enhancements to Reconciliation include AI-powered data ingestion. With the assistance of AI, users can effortlessly configure data pipelines for seamless data mapping and normalization. These data pipelines are accessible via CSV upload for manual workloads and API for automation. 

The AI also suggests match and reconciliation rules, increasing reconciliation speed. Pattern recognition within the company’s dataset enables faster automation, achieving reconciliation rates of 90%-100%.  Companies can configure reconciliation rules based on specific parameters—without writing a single line of code. Account reconciliation enables teams to identify and remediate variances between their accounts and their ledger, leading to faster reconciliation. 

8. Napier AI 

Napier AI, the London-based financial crime compliance RegTech, is pleased to its solution as the anti-money laundering (AML) platform for Salt Bank, the first Romanian neobank with the fastest growing in Southeastern Europe. 

Napier AI provides its Transaction Screening product in a cloud environment, to Salt Bank. The solution will enable Salt Bank to handle 100s of millions of transactions easily. With its name rooted in the Romanian word for leap, the neobank is set to transform Romanian banking. It offers a top-notch digital experience for the new generation of customers who prefer banking on their smartphones. 

The collaboration reinforces Salt Bank’s engagement in having robust tools within the current AML ecosystem, which is being reshaped by dynamic changes in regulations, evolving ML/TF and fraud risks, and ever-increasing customer demand for a seamless online experience. Partnering with an AML RegTech with NextGen technology and scalability will help Salt Bank address consumer demands for faster, more convenient ways to bank and strengthen its AML framework. 

9. Options Technology 

Options Technology, a trailblazer in capital markets infrastructure, announced an expanded strategic partnership with oneZero, the leading multi-asset class enterprise trading technology provider for banks and financial institutions. 

The partnership is set to build upon the existing, proven integration between oneZero and Options Activ’s consolidated data service, streamlining the experience for mutual customers with bespoke API connectivity between Options’ multi-asset class normalized and historical market data, and oneZero’s multi-asset class liquidity, aggregation and risk management solutions which facilitate tens of millions of trades per day. Leveraging Options’ normalised market access data model, oneZero customers will be able to use the Hub to distribute pricing and risk across a wider range of asset classes with an accelerated time to market. 

This is the latest in a series of exciting developments for Options Technology, including its partnerships with Magtia and Trader Evolution, its achievement of a new Microsoft Cloud Security specialization and its partnership with Dukascopy. oneZero recently announced the extension of their Data Partners network with other vendors that add value to the trade lifecycle for clients, including with TRAction for trade reporting, and with New Change FX for regulated reference data for reporting. 

10. Personable 

Personable announced the commercial availability of ScanWriter AI Edition. This cutting-edge tool harnesses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to transform the efficiency, accuracy, and effectiveness of financial investigations conducted by federal, state, and local government agencies, financial services organizations, as well as accounting and law enforcement. 

In 2023, $3.1 trillion in illicit funds flowed through the global financial system, while fraud scams and bank fraud schemes led to half a billion dollars in losses last year. ScanWriter AI is designed to solve unprecedented challenges faced by financial investigators, including handling vast volumes of data, complex transactional systems, and the dynamic nature of financial crimes. 

ScanWriter® AI Edition delivers several new capabilities that improve investigation outcomes, reduce resource requirements, and enhance regulatory compliance. 

11. Red Hat 

Red Hat, a provider of open source solutions, announced that Ortec Finance, a global provider of technology and solutions for risk and return management, has built a cloud-native platform for solutions delivery using Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift. Using managed OpenShift has enabled Ortec Finance to continue growing its business while at the same time enhancing operational consistency and efficiency to improve product quality. 

Ortec Finance provides software solutions to pension funds, insurance companies, asset managers and wealth management companies, helping over 600 customers across more than 20 countries balance risk-and-return tradeoffs and improve investment decision-making. In service of its mission to continuously optimize how it serves its clients, Ortec Finance embarked on a technology transformation to cloud-native applications. 

Ortec Finance collaborated with HCS Company to build the Ortec Finance Cloud Application (ORCA) Platform, choosing Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s leading hybrid cloud application platform powered by Kubernetes, as its foundation. While piloting the first product, it became clear that Ortec Finance needed a complete, fully managed platform, which led it to implement Azure Red Hat OpenShift. Running on Azure Red Hat OpenShift gave Ortec Finance’s solution engineers and customers the ability to more efficiently deploy software, oversee access and authorization and manage applications across multiple Kubernetes clusters. Azure Red Hat OpenShift provides Ortec Finance with a comprehensive application platform offering a wider choice of integrated and pre-validated tools for developers. 

12. Riveron 

Riveron announced a strategic partnership with Numeric, an AI-powered accounting software company. This collaboration aims to empower chief financial officers (CFOs) at growing companies with streamlined financial management solutions that leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI), particularly for the record-to-report process. 

Riveron boasts a proven track record of supporting the office of the CFO at organizations facing rapid growth and strategic change. The advisory firm helps businesses navigate financial complexities and elevate the impact of accounting and finance operations. Through the new partnership, Riveron will help clients chart their strategies and implement Numeric’s easy-to-use accounting software, which integrates seamlessly with existing systems and leverages AI to automate tasks, improve accuracy, and generate timely insights. 

Experts from Riveron and Numeric are confident that their combined capabilities will equip CFOs at growing companies with the tools and resources they need to leverage AI, achieve financial clarity, and drive sustainable growth. 

13. Rocktop Technologies 

Rocktop Technologies announced the appointment of Jason Tanaka as Chief Technology Officer and the formation of a new partnership with LiquidFi, an industry-leading asset tokenization platform. These moves enhance Rocktop’s technology-driven solutions, which now incorporate the latest developments in data science, machine learning, generative AI, and blockchain technology, focused on diverse asset types including Ginnie Mae Early Buyouts, HECM Reverse Mortgages, Mortgage Servicing Rights (MSR), HELOCs, and Scratch and Dent Loans. 

Jason Tanaka, Rocktop’s new CTO, has a 20-plus year track record leveraging a variety of technology innovations to move the mortgage and financial markets forward. He was previously Executive/AVP Real Estate Technology Strategy, USAA Federal Savings Bank; Managing Director, Livegage; Chief Technology Officer, Credit Union Student Choice; and Co-Founder, Simply Closing, LLC. “For decades, technology has been brought into the mortgage and fixed income spaces without solving some of the key underlying inefficiencies. I’m enthusiastic about our opportunity to harness cutting-edge technology-based solutions in reshaping the landscape of our industry,” said Tanaka about the opportunity. 

The collaboration with LiquidFi further strengthens Rocktop’s capability to offer transparent, immutable, and validated datasets using distributed ledger technology. LiquidFi’s real-world asset tokenization platform provides the infrastructure to reduce friction in capital markets through more efficient and transparent life-of-loan data verification and asset-level functionality.  

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. Saifr offers multiple ways to access its AI: SaifrReview® (a collaborative enterprise workflow solution), SaifrScan® (software add-ins), and APIs. 

15. Saifr 

Saifr, a compliance solutions provider that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help firms mitigate regulatory risks, today announced the launch of SaifrScreen, an adverse media screening and sanctions monitoring solution that leverages AI to make customer and vendor screening processes more comprehensive, accurate, and efficient. 

SaifrScreen continuously monitors full customer and vendor populations for threats and provides comprehensive reports prioritized based on risk and other factors to support regulatory screening requirements, allowing teams to focus on investigating true bad actors rather than false positives. 

SaifrScreen uses powerful AI to help businesses quickly and accurately uncover relevant risks so that they can take action to mitigate them sooner and more efficiently. SaifrScreen’s comprehensive coverage goes beyond just searching structured data (sanctions, wanted, and watch lists) to also search targeted unstructured data (news, government sources, arrest records, and more). SaifrScreen discovers more bad actors and can flag them as soon as they become publicly associated with wrongdoing, greatly reducing clients’ risk exposure. 

16. Toggle AI 

Toggle AI announced they are acquiring Atom Finance, a financial data and analysis platform. 

Atom Finance is a top provider of frontend infrastructure for banks, brokerages, wealth managers and fintechs. The acquisition will enable Toggle AI to enhance its offering by incorporating Atom Finance’s robust suite of features, expanding its data universe, and providing users with an even more comprehensive investing experience. 

As part of the acquisition, SoftBank and General Catalyst, both prominent players in the venture capital landscape, will join Toggle AI’s cap table. This strategic arrangement underscores the collaborative effort to solidify Toggle AI’s position as a leader in intelligent investing solutions. 

17. Wolters Kluwer 

Wolters Kluwer, a global leader in information, software, and services for professionals, today announced its AI-powered CCH Tagetik Intelligent Platform, which has been designed to digitally transform the efficiency, accuracy, and strategic ability of the Office of the CFO. 

The state-of-the-art AI functionality in the CCH Tagetik Intelligent Platform empowers finance professionals to democratize access to meaningful financial data, manage and control massive datasets with unprecedented speed and automation, unlock hidden insights, and improve and expedite decision making.   

These new AI capabilities build on existing AI features of CCH Tagetik, like Predictive Intelligence and Transaction Matching, which already empower users to create explainable, insight-driven predictive forecasts, accelerate data reconciliation and improve decision making.Together, these first-to-market AI innovations reinforce Wolters Kluwer’s commitment to investing in AI to serve and drive the continued digital transformation of the Office of the CFO.