The robo-advisor could go the way of the rotary phone, replaced by the AI advisor.
That’s the hope of tech startup ForwardLane, which is combining artificial intelligence with quantitative investing models and financial planning to create a new spin on digital wealth management platforms.
Through AI powered by IBM Watson, ForwardLane, based in New York, aims to provide advisors with the kind of in-depth quantitative modeling, real-time responses and highly personalized investment advice once only available to the upper echelons of investors, says Nathan Stevenson, founder and CEO.
“Forward Lane unites individual clients with institutional risk elements,” Stevenson says. “Much of this technology is already used by hedge funds, large banks and sovereign wealth funds. We take this ‘Formula One’ technology and put it into the hands of advisors so they can replicate a large part of the experience that an ultra-high net worth investor would be getting.”
Stevenson envisions artificial intelligence allowing advisors to reduce costs by up to 40 percent, increase their client service capabilities threefold and triple their customer satisfaction ratings.
Earlier this year, ForwardLane unveiled its software which includes an advisor dashboard, compliance functionality, investment management, client conversation and financial intelligence functions using deep learning, an AI concept where computers record, analyze and prioritize information using algorithms.
“The artificial intelligence effectively reads so you don’t have to,” Stevenson says. “ForwardLane is using deep learning to go really deep into research. Having a machine to do all the heavy lifting allows advisors to have the highest quality of information at their fingertips without having to sort through the mass of data and variables.”
In addition to Stevenson, an entrepreneur who formerly led technology projects for CQS, BNP Paribas London and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the team behind ForwardLane consists of wealth managers, quants, software engineers and developers.
AI allows ForwardLane to deliver advice incorporating a large array of variables -- from current market data to global political events to a firm’s investment principles to the client’s risk tolerance -- directly to the advisor in real time.
Most notably, ForwardLane can synthesize the multiverse of financial information into talking points personalized to the client that the advisor can use in conversations.