A.I, datalakes and copy trading
On 20th June in central London, Fin-k Tank is an exciting new event which has been created for investment industry professionals to unashamedly focus on the collisions of technology and investments. Here’s a few tasters.
Catherine Flax is the CEO of US-based Pefin, the world's first AI financial adviser. A New Yorker through and through, she said goodbye to Wall Street, commodities, foreign exchange and emerging markets sales and trading, and stepped over into personal finance, taking the helm at the firm one year ago.
Customers of the platform will plug in banking details, credit card info and debt and answer questions about priorities and goals. A neural network then whirrs into action, adding in external information relevant to that person’s location, demographic details and expenditure such as college fees, tax rates and childcare costs.
With only 25 staff this is 100% AI driven platform. The only human intervention is for technical support, such as help with a transfer or on-boarding.
Pefin is looking outside the US and the firm has recently signed an institutional deal in Holland. Flax tells me that the AI layer didn’t need changing for this – it’s “the layer on top” such as local pension rules and cultural differences which needs re-jigging. Working out the cost of medical care isn’t such a big deal for the Dutch as it is for those in the States, for example.
With a subscription fee of just $10 a month (yes, FD of an advisory firm, put that in your financial pipe and smoke it!) and 0.25% for the investment portfolios, this is a fairly compelling proposition for consumers to try. It won’t solve every challenge but Flax reckons it will deal with 90% of people’s needs. Complex affairs and tax labyrinths probably still necessitate a human brain and contacts.
The company launched quietly to consumers in December and has 4,200 signed up today. Post an upcoming capital raise and some public fanfare, it’s hard to imagine it staying at these levels for long.
We’ll be interviewing Catherine at Fin-k Tank.
We’re also thrilled to host 6 demos. One from RBS showcasing a mutual fund run on the blockchain, another from Clever Circles showing how it is redefining asset management through their open sourced intelligence, and a new virtual datalake fresh from Oz care of Zetaris. With 2 new A.I. advice solutions joining them, they’ll be judged by our very own Len ‘n’ Darceys from the worlds of angel investing, VCs and Private Equity.
Finally we’re thrilled to welcome back eToro as we find out what the original ‘copy trader’ has been up to since we last met them back in 2010, when their contributions to a conference we ran had the FCA reaching for the smelling salts.