Feature 1 From Human to Robo-Advisers (and Back Again)
Well, it seems the tide may be shifting back again — or at least halfway back. Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced this week it will soon be adding human advisers to its digital advice platform, Merrill Guided Investing. The advisers will “fill a service gap between the firm's purely digital, self-directed robo-adviser and the full-service advisers of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management,” according to InvestmentNews. While technology and automated services will no doubt continue to play a critical role in the delivery of financial services, perhaps we will reach a pleasant middle ground where robots and humans exist happily side by side.
Feature 2 AI and Analytics in Asset Management
In a notable piece of synergy in these areas, Liquidnet this week expanded its AI offerings with its acquisition of Prattle, an automated investment research provider. Prattle uses natural language processing and machine learning to produce analytics that traders can use to make sense of unstructured data, such as measuring sentiment and predicting the market impact of publicly available content including central bank and corporate communications. Asset managers can then use these analytics to understand and anticipate relevant market movement, strengthen investment theses, and inform trading strategies.