AI & Finance™ | News for the Week Ending 6/14/24

989

One of the first myths regarding artificial intelligence and finance we addressed after founding this feature months ago was the idea that AI would replace the human element within the financial industry. 

This week we provide more evidence that it simply isn’t true. In fact, more than half of employers in a recent survey from ManpowerGroup expected to increase headcount due to the implementation of AI and machine learning over the next few years. Only 18% believe that artificial intelligence will cause staffing decreases. 

The proliferation of AI is only accelerating. Adoption of generative AI is leading to the embrace of other types of AI, according to a recent study from Pegasystems, an AI decision-making and workflow automation platform. In a worldwide survey of business decision-makers, Pegasystems found that 95% said that generative AI was responsible for their adoption of other types of AI tools. 

Pegasystems also found that the demand for AI skills was on the increase, with 20% of its survey respondents feeling that their own organizations had weak AI skills and experience. Nearly all employers in the survey, 98%, thought AI skills, experience and knowledge were valuable when considering job applicants. 

Similarly, ManpowerGroup in its study commented that organizations need to scale their workforce “upskilling and reskilling initiatives to ensure employees have the necessary skills to work alongside AI-based technologies.” 

A similar prescription was offered this week in research from Info-Tech Research Group, a Canadian business research and advisory firm, whose analysis suggested that companies need to understand their AI competency needs and assess any skill gaps that exist before “developing a plan to mitigate the AI skills gap is essential. Organizations can explore various options such as internal or external training courses, on-the-job training, reskilling, upskilling, coaching, and mentoring. Additionally, hiring new talent, outsourcing skills, or contracting flexible or temporary skills are also viable strategies.” 

In other words, prevailing opinion has moved to envision a future where AI alters and re-shapes the workforce instead of replacing or displacing it. 

This week we have 21 AI and Finance headlines from across the financial and technology industries. 

READ ON…..


1. Aidentified 

Aidentified, an AI-powered prospecting and relationship intelligence platform for financial services professionals, announced that it has raised $12.5 million in Series B funding from FactSet, a global financial digital platform and enterprise solutions provider. 

Aidentified provides financial advisors, marketing teams, and other sales professionals with tools to identify, qualify, and convert new client relationships. Aidentified will use the investment to fund further technological development and grow its team as client adoption accelerates. Aidentified currently serves clients at top financial services firms and independent registered investment advisors. 

Aidentified gives users the ability to search for specific identity markers such as income, wealth segment, location, and hobbies, along with verifiable contact information. Further, it employs AI and machine learning-based algorithms and models to visualize user connections with prospects and harness its clients’ networks for referrals. As of 2024, the company has mapped 16 billion 1st-degree connections and 800 billion 2nd-degree connections, making Aidentified a leading provider of relationship data.  

2. Alltius 

Alltius, an innovative Gen AI assistant platform, announced that one of India’s retail full-service broking houses used Alltius’ customer support AI assistants to enhance customer experiences. With Alltius, the leading financial services company has experienced reduction in support costs by $120,000 per month and over 45% ticket deflection within one month of implementation. 

The company is India’s leading digital-first brokerage firm with 20Mn+ active users and over $400B daily turnover. Their customer support team handled over 30k+ queries on a daily basis which led to higher turnaround time. 

Alltius’ self service AI assistant has enabled the company to reduce their query user resolution time from hours to seconds. The AI assistant handles over 250k+ conversations every week and solves customer queries with over 99% accuracy by identifying intent and answering the query by using the knowledge base of 20k+ company documents, previous tickets, FAQ sections and more. Apart from solving customer queries, Alltius also streamlined knowledge curation, where it converted unique ticket conversations into structured FAQ sections in real-time. 

3. AuthenticID 

AuthenticID announced the release of a new solution to detect deep fake and generative AI injection attacks. This new enhancement to their identity verification technology, developed by AuthenticID’s Product and Applied Research team, uses proprietary algorithms to prevent the majority of digital injection attacks that leverage AI-generated content. 

Deep fakes are synthetic documents, videos or biometrics such as facial or audio that are artificially generated using machine learning, specifically deep learning techniques. Digital injection attacks occur when a bad actor “injects” these deep fakes into an identity verification workflow to spoof the system and bypass traditional fraud detection and identity verification methods. 

The AuthenticID identity verification solution is 100% automated, driven by machine learning technology. The solution’s automation means there is no human bias or lag time introduced in the detection and decisioning process. Stopping injection attacks and deep fake attacks can be done in a workflow in a matter of milliseconds. 

4. Brightwave 

Brightwave, the AI-powered research assistant that generates insightful, trustworthy financial analysis on any subject, announced $6 million in seed funding. The round was led by Decibel Partners, with backing from Point72 Ventures, Moonfire Ventures, and angel investors including executives from OpenAI, Databricks, Uber, and LinkedIn. Founded by engineers with deep knowledge in AI and finance infrastructure, co-founders Mike Conover and Brandon Kotara have over 20 years of combined experience building AI and machine learning products. 

Brightwave builds and trains proprietary AI systems that synthesize trustworthy, insightful analysis from a corpus of hundreds of millions of documents, including breaking news, SEC filings, earnings call transcripts, sell-side research, market data, enterprise knowledge base content, and high-signal, long-tail material from the public internet. In just four months, Brightwave’s customer base has grown to include diverse funds, firms and strategies with assets under management totaling more than $120B, ranging from owner-operated RIA’s to $20B crossover hedge funds whose trades move global markets. 

Brightwave accelerates core information processing workflows and increases the quality and depth of thought financial professionals can bring to bear on any subject. Investment research teams at some of the world’s largest asset managers are using Brightwave to rapidly understand new sectors, go deep on specific equities, discover and diligence opportunities in private markets, and develop investment theses based on fact patterns synthesized across huge bodies of content. Similarly, wealth management customers use Brightwave to grow AUM and provide exceptional client experiences deeply prepared on the topics that drive buying decisions and create insightful market commentary at scale. 

5. Constellation Network 

Constellation Network, an American Blockchain and decentralized network tailored towards web3, enterprise and federal adoption, announced the strategic alignment with Forward Edge-AI to address key data integrity issues that plague artificial intelligence algorithms and outputs. 

Constellation Network and Forward Edge-AI, recognized as innovators of AI and blockchain technology in the federal government, are joining forces to ensure AI’s future is both secure and trustworthy.  Their combined technologies promise a standardized approach to validating data used in AI algorithms, ensuring both source attribution and protection against tampering. 

Historically, blockchain solutions have struggled with balancing speed, scalability, and security. Constellation Network’s Hypergraph Transfer Protocol addresses these issues, earning endorsements from the Air Force Research Laboratory as “Secure, Scalable, and Department of Defense Approved.” This robust protocol was a key factor in Forward Edge-AI’s decision to collaborate. 

6. Counterpart 

Counterpart, the AI-driven management and professional liability insurtech, has announced a new partnership with Westfield Specialty Insurance, to provide an admitted product for Counterpart’s small business customers and, for the first time, nonprofit organizations, through its network of trusted broker partners. The partnership with Westfield Specialty represents one of three A rated insurance carriers to back Counterpart, which is already supported in the surplus lines by Aspen Insurance and Markel. 

The new admitted management liability product significantly extends Counterpart’s offerings to for-profit businesses with less than $350 million in revenue or 500 employees, which represents 99% of U.S. businesses, as well as over one million 501(c) organizations. This expansion not only empowers Counterpart to support its customers as they grow, but also expands the ways in which brokers can service their clients by using Counterpart’s cutting-edge APIs and risk mitigation services. 

Counterpart is adding nonprofits to its offering following strong demand from its broker partners. Nonprofits can face many of the same legal challenges as for-profit businesses, including wrongful termination, negligence, harassment, discrimination, as well as many exposures that are unique to their operating model. For example, funds mismanagement and failure to meet regulatory standards can constitute a significant exposure for nonprofits, given their reliance on public and private contributions. 

7. Ernst & Young 

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) announced plans to invest $1 billion over three years in talent and technology to revolutionize the experience of early career accounting professionals and improve the attractiveness of the profession. This investment includes a significant increase in early career compensation, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled audit and tax platforms, an innovative new “360 Careers” experience, outreach and support for college students, and enhanced wellbeing benefits. 

EY US will increase early career compensation as part of a total rewards package that recognizes the value of a certified public accountant (CPA) career path. This investment will place the profession and accounting degree on par with other business majors and position EY US as a pay leader in an increasingly competitive US market. 

EY US is leading the way with market-leading AI technology to transform the roles of audit and tax professionals and to serve as a catalyst for new perspectives within the audit. As digitization and AI technologies reshape the industry, AI-powered capabilities are being built into the global EY organization’s core audit platform tools to enhance audit quality, improve productivity, support risk assessment and deliver better insights on key business issues. 

8. First Rate 

First Rate, providing AI reporting and compliance services for the wealth management industry, announced its investment and strategic partnership with Fispoke, an innovative WealthTech company led by experts from wealth management, banking, and technology. First Rate Ventures, the WealthTech corporate venture capital fund, provided guidance and is the lead investor in this initial funding round. 

Fispoke, led by entrepreneur and CEO Robert Clare, delivers a transformational platform seamlessly integrating private lending and banking solutions, tailored for the advisory market, into the everyday platforms used by financial advisors and their clients. 

9. Hearsay Systems 

Yext, Inc. (NYSE: YEXT), the leading digital presence platform for multi-location brands, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Hearsay Systems, a global leader in digital client engagement for financial services, for $125 million and up to an additional $95 million if certain performance targets are achieved. 

The acquisition will combine Yext’s industry-leading digital presence management platform with Hearsay Systems’ compliant engagement solutions across social media, websites, text, and voice. This strategic move will leverage the strengths of both companies’ technology to provide a single digital marketing platform to power the customer journey and enable brands to convert prospects into loyal customers faster. 

The world’s leading financial firms rely on Hearsay System’s compliance-driven platform to scale their reach, optimize customer engagements, grow their business, and deliver exceptional client service. Hearsay Systems helps 260,000 advisors and agents ensure all interactions meet regulatory and brand standards to reduce risk while providing a scalable way to manage customer engagement. Combined with Yext’s suite of products and AI technology, brands can access more channels in one platform, and leverage consolidated analytics and recommendations to improve performance across channels. 

10. Lucinity 

A generative AI copilot plugin, launched by Lucinity at Money2020 Europe, delivers immediate ROI. The copilot plugin is system-agnostic, acting as one central copilot that can be used on top of all web-based enterprise applications, pulling data from any system including Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, case management systems, third-party vendors, and Excel documents. 

The new plugin enhances Lucinity’s AI copilot, ‘Luci,’ launched last year as the world’s first AI copilot for financial crime prevention. This new plugin functionality now means that Luci is the easiest copilot to integrate into any financial institution (FI), boosting productivity by up to 90% and resulting in substantial cost savings. 

It also means that businesses can keep the same licenses and contracts they already have with their current providers, while augmenting their insights and accelerating decision making. FIs can now start using GenAI without the constraints, enormous costs, and lengthy timelines of traditional implementations. 

11. M-Files 

M-Files announced that Farmers Alliance Mutual Insurance, a leading insurance provider across rural America, has selected M-Files to boost productivity and efficiency with its knowledge work automation platform. 

Farmers Alliance was using an outdated legacy system that had a basic folder structure and lacked the ability to easily integrate with its processing systems. Claims adjusters were having to work through inefficient search capabilities and accessing documents through a standalone system, resulting in lost time and productivity. As a provider of Property and Casualty insurance products and services across eight states, Farmers Alliance needed a future-focused partner to ensure that knowledge could flow effortlessly and securely across departments. 

Farmers Alliance selected M-Files based on its ability to connect documents to business processes and uncover related information relevant to any given context with AI and automation. M-Files’ intuitive search helps boost productivity and reduce frustrations. With M-Files, claim adjusters gain the ability to locate the document they need, when they need it, regardless of the application or interface, saving valuable time. In addition, M-Files’ knowledge work automation platform provides the compliance requirements insurance companies like Farmers Alliance demand to reduce business risk and keep documents secure. 

12. Mastek 

Mastek announced it is advancing its icxPro platform with NVIDIA accelerated computing. Offering the next generation of customer experience (CX) solutions powered by artificial intelligence (AI), icxPro has demonstrated a 20% return on capital employed (ROCE) in the Manufacturing sector, with massive potential in the BFSI and Healthcare sectors. The launch of icxPro marks a significant stride in Mastek’s non-linear growth strategy. 

Mastek’s icxPro, a cloud-native platform designed for building scalable AI applications, will help streamline the development of domain-specific AI applications using the full-stack NVIDIA accelerated computing platform, which includes NVIDIA NIM microservices, part of the NVIDIA AI Enterprise software platform. Running on NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs, Mastek’s icxPro will enable businesses to achieve faster time to market and unlock significant business value. 

Mastek’s icxPro-enabled productized solutions, powered by NVIDIA AI, has a serviceable obtainable market in the Manufacturing and BFSI sectors, with strong return on capital employed (ROCE) exceeding 20%. Mastek’s icxPro was recently implemented at Fortive (in the client’s Business Plan-driven solution exercise with Digital Hack 2023), an American industrial technology conglomerate significantly reducing its customer response time from a 3-to-7-days range to a second. Mastek’s generative AI-backed insight engine transformed processed data and provided real-time updates on the availability of obsolete spare parts. 

13. MSCI 

MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI), a provider of mission-critical decision support tools and services for the global investment community, launched MSCI AI Portfolio Insights. Combining generative artificial intelligence (“GenAI”) with MSCI’s award-winning analytics tools and advanced modelling technologies, MSCI AI Portfolio Insights is designed to help investors better identify and manage potential emerging risks that dynamic markets pose to their portfolios. 

MSCI has combined its extensive risk and performance modelling capabilities with GenAI to enhance risk reporting. MSCI AI Portfolio Insights aims to create efficiencies and deliver insights to institutional risk and portfolio managers by helping identify and analyze the most salient information in risk reports before the working day starts. 

Investors can use MSCI AI Portfolio Insights’ interactive capabilities to drill further into changes in their portfolios without any need for code or extensive user interface dropdowns. MSCI AI Portfolio Insights merges generated text with modern dashboards and cloud-based technology to enhance communication and efficiency in risk and portfolio management. These tools aim to empower risk management teams at asset managers, hedge funds and asset owners to drive collaboration across their firm’s investment teams. 

14. Pagaya 

Pagaya Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: PGY) (the “Company” or “Pagaya”), a global technology company delivering AI-driven product solutions for the financial ecosystem, announced it is joining the Mastercard Engage program. The Mastercard Engage program connects qualified fintech enablers to banks, merchants, fintechs and more to help them accelerate product innovation through access to the company’s global network, expertise, technology, and resources. 

As a member of the Engage program, Pagaya’s AI network will facilitate smarter, faster credit decisions that will help banks and fintechs to enable more installment opportunities for Mastercard’s customers at the point-of-sale (POS). 

The Engage program supports more than 170 partners, including Pagaya, and in 2023 alone, Engage partners signed hundreds of commercial deals with Mastercard customers. 

15. Posh AI 

Curql has led a new investment round in Posh alongside Canapi Ventures and TruStage Ventures, to accelerate generative and conversational AI innovation for banks and credit unions. This latest funding brings Posh’s total to over $45 million, underscoring strong support from investors for Posh’s purpose-built AI solutions. 

The new investment will fast-track responsible deployment of generative and conversational AI solutions specifically designed to empower credit unions and banks, enhancing their operational efficiency and service quality. 

Additionally, Posh is thrilled to welcome Dave Tucker to its Board of Directors, joining co-founders Karan Kashyap and Matt McEachern and Board Advisors Rodney Hood and Barbara Yastine. With a rich background in scaling tech companies, Dave, a partner at Curql’s fund management company, previously served as Senior Vice President of Technology at Workiva. He played a pivotal role in guiding Workiva’s growth to a public company and expanding its development team to 350+. With over 30 years of industry experience, Dave has also held significant roles at major enterprises like Hewlett-Packard and Siemens. 

16. RGS 

On World Environment Day, RGS, a leading technology company empowering investors and corporate leaders to integrate an impact lens into their decision-making process, announced a new financing led by Metavallon VC and the Ford Foundation, joining previous investors S&P Global and Richmond Global. This funding enables RGS to launch its RIFT platform, offering innovative impact data and AI-powered analytics for clients seeking positive environmental, social, and financial returns. The capital will fuel expansion of the product, technology and commercial teams in London, Athens and New York. 

RGS RIFT™ revolutionizes impact measurement by linking sustainability metrics to financial outcomes via impact weighted accounting. RGS’s patented engine leverages outcome-based data and the latest library of social costs and scientific research to deliver fully transparent, customizable impact assessments. RGS moves beyond traditional sustainability metrics by offering the first scalable measurement of companies’ impacts through their products and services. By evaluating impacts on Environment, Employees, and Customers, RGS provides clients with a comprehensive view of both long- and short-term risks and opportunities. Quantifying and monetizing company impacts makes this information accessible, actionable, and comparable to financial performance. 

RGS’s client centric product development roadmap, among other solutions, include: (i) AI-powered Thematic Investing Tools to provide investors a wide array of themes designed to support new strategies as well as fine-tune existing research and product gaps; (ii) granular, standardized revenue data on public companies’ products and services that can help investors with benchmarking, thematic investing, index creation and alignment to a wide range of frameworks like the SDGs or IMP; and (iii) the first ever fixed income solution to calculate Climate Impacts for Asset backed Securities. 

17. Sirion 

Sirion announced the acquisition of Eigen Technologies, a provider of Document AI for financial services and insurance that has pioneered data extraction and AI governance. Sirion is ranked by leading analysts like Gartner as the innovation leader in CLM and the world’s leading financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and Citi trust Eigen. The deal combines Sirion’s contract intelligence with Eigen’s Document AI and intelligent document processing (IDP) platforms and puts it at the forefront of contract intelligence. 

Sirion has long been the leader in the use of AI to unlock contract intelligence. Its Single Extraction Agent (SEA) uses several hundred language models trained on billions of data points extracted from 10M+ enterprise contracts. The addition of Eigen’s AI technology will accelerate the move from contract intelligence to full document intelligence. This transformation means Sirion’s customers will be able to pull insights from all business documents, from contracts to invoices to purchase orders and engineering reports. To read more on Sirion’s vision for AI in CLM check out our blog. 

Sirion’s SEA and Eigen’s Document AI will come together in the AI Studio and help customers to automate their wider business processes around contracting. Eigen’s AI researchers and engineers, many of whom have joined from top universities and tech companies after completing PhDs, will form the core of Sirion’s new AI Research Centre in London.

18. T. Rowe Price

T. Rowe Price, a global investment management firm and a leader in retirement, has debuted the second season of its investment-themed podcast series “The Angle” with, “Revolution to Reality – Exploring the Power of Artificial Intelligence.”  Season two premiered on May 29, 2024, and new episodes will drop weekly for the next five weeks.

Jennifer Martin, a portfolio specialist on the global equity team at T. Rowe Price, is the host of season two. “Revolution to Reality – Exploring the Power of Artificial Intelligence” will include six episodes, the first of which is currently available to listeners.  Topics and guests include: 

  • “The Rise of Artificial Intelligence – Transforming the World,” featuring David Eiswert, global equities portfolio manager. 
  • “Artificial Intelligence – The New Electricity?” featuring technology-focused portfolio managers Dom Rizzo and Jim Stillwagon. 
  • “Beyond Tech: Harnessing AI’s Potential for Innovation and Growth,” featuring portfolio managers Rick de los Reyes and Gregg Korondi. 
  • “Unleashing the Power of AI in Investment Research,” featuring technologist Jordan Vinarub and director of research Jay Nogueira. 

19. TIFIN 

TIFIN, an early mover and leading innovator in AI-powered fintech, announced the appointment of Ken Denman to its Board of Directors. Mr. Denman is a seasoned entrepreneur, investor, executive, and board member with a track record in building, scaling, and exiting technology companies. He will bring this deep domain expertise to TIFIN’s board as the company continues to revolutionize the wealth management industry through artificial intelligence. 

Mr. Denman’s wealth of experience and forward-thinking perspective complement the expertise of the current TIFIN board members. The TIFIN board currently includes Dr. Vinay Nair, Founder & CEO of TIFIN; Rob Heyvaert, Founder & Managing Partner of Motive Partners’ Tom Tinsley, Former Managing Director, General Atlantic and former CEO of Baan Software N.V.; Cathie Wood, CEO and CIO of ARK Invest; Glenn Hubbard, Director of the Chazen Institute, Dean Emeritus, and Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School’ and Anil Arora, Senior Partner at TIFIN and former CEO of Envestnet | Yodlee. 

Mr. Denman has extensive experience as an investor, chief executive, and strategic advisor across the technology, telecommunications, and finance industries. Currently, he serves as a General Partner at Sway Ventures, a U.S.-based venture capital firm investing in early- to mid-stage technology companies. In addition to Sway and TIFIN, he holds positions on several prominent boards, including Costco Wholesale and Motorola Solutions. Previously, Mr. Denman was President and CEO of Emotient, a leading authority on automated facial expression analysis, which was acquired by Apple in 2016. He also held other CEO roles at Openwave Systems and iPass Inc. His expertise in driving organizational growth and innovation is complemented by his active involvement as an investor and mentor to start-ups. 

20. Unit21 

Unit21, a global risk and compliance leader that proactively mitigates risks tied to fraud, money laundering, and other financial crimes, announced the launch of its advanced Check Fraud Prevention and Investigation features during this week’s American Banking Association’s (ABA) Risk and Compliance conference. This new suite of tools addresses the rising threat of check fraud, which causes increased financial losses across the banking industry each year. 

In fact, according to a recent Thomson Reuters report, check fraud accounted for 20% of all SARs filing amounting to nearly 670,000 check fraud SARs filed by FIs in 2023. 

Unit21’s innovative platform offers a complete view of check-related transactions and activities that lower fraud losses, enhance customer protection, and dramatically reduce investigation time. By integrating advanced AI techniques, image analysis, and dark web monitoring, the new features allow FIs to proactively find and stop fraud loss before it enters deposit channels while also automating the verification process of checks within the institution. 

21. YourStake 

YourStake, a provider of AI-powered solutions for the wealth management industry, announced a collaboration with Apex Fintech Solutions Inc. (“Apex”), the innovation platform to the global investment ecosystem, to provide APIs for the next generation of AI-first digital experiences. This will enable fintechs and advisors to deliver seamless solutions without the complexity of building them in-house. 

YourStake’s “Document-to-Portfolio” APIs are the first suite of offerings in this collaboration. These allow users to upload image scans or PDF files of their investment information, such as account statements from brokerages and banks, and for fintechs and advisors to receive structured API responses containing clean, accurate data about the financial holdings. 

This simplification enables a new level of frictionless investing across two key use cases for digital experiences: real-time portfolio analysis for investment proposals, and hands-free onboarding account transitions.