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Of all the industries rushing into generative AI, it seems strange that we haven’t heard or reported more about fintech and financial advisors in particular.
But here comes Vise to buck the trend. The seven-year-old former New York fintech unicorn, co-founded by two (then) 16-year-olds, has endured a period of bad press in recent years, losing 35% of its assets under management (AUM). Within months, Business Insider reported on the departure of its largest client, Manhattan West, and the loss of more than 100 employees since its founding due to turnover and layoffs.
The Business Insider report suggested that the co-founders’ youth, inattention and inexperience may have led to these problems, and the duo later admitted to RIABiz that they had to change course and do a “hard reset.”
Now Vise is poised for a major comeback and more focused than ever with the release of its new AI service, Vise Intelligence, a conversational AI model that empowers human financial advisors by creating reports, answering their questions, and keeping you up-to-date Information about investment portfolios to discuss with their clients.
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“Empowering financial advisors with artificial intelligence that can help them do their jobs better leads to better investment outcomes for all clients who use and transact them [the financial advisors] more accessible to more people,” said Samir Vasavada, CEO and one of the company’s original co-founders, in a video call interview with VentureBeat.
For example, a financial advisor paying for a Vise Intelligence subscription might prompt the assistant with the phrase “Ava Harris called because she has concerns about investing in energy companies,” referring to a call from a client. Vise could then provide the financial advisor with information about that client’s specific portfolio, suggest ways to tailor it to the client’s wishes, and then compose an email to the client informing the advisor of the changes would make to the investment strategy.
This way, the human advisor and their client remain in control, but Vise Intelligence is always there as a helpful assistant, compiling information and making suggestions for how to use it.
Where AI and Fintech collide
Vasavada co-founded Vise in 2016 with Runik Mehrotra, still its chief investment officer (CIO), a year before the generative AI boom began with the publication of Google researchers’ paper “Attention Is All You Need” on arxiv, the took the lead on the Transformer model architecture that now underlies Vise Intelligence and most other leading AI models, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Previously, the company offered “highly personalized portfolios that fully automated the investment management process and provided deep insights into every investment decision,” according to one of its previous funding announcements.
Vasavada didn’t provide any details about the specific AI used to enable Vise Intelligence, but in a Medium post published today, the CEO wrote, “Vise Intelligence is built on state-of-the-art large-scale language models, which is fine with us.” using relevant investment and portfolio management data.”
RIABiz previously reported that Vise planned to “integrate new AI models like ChatGPT where applicable,” and quoted Mehrota as saying that it would “eventually build functionality based on one of these pre-trained models…we won’t always.” proceed like this.” forever be inside… [what] “We are developing technology that builds on the models of these AI companies,” so it is likely that GPT is powering some of the technology.
But Vasavada did not assume that Vise Intelligence was designed to capture information from every single client in a financial advisor client’s portfolio – from “high net worth” to “low net worth” small one-person firms that manage money for teachers, firefighters, boutique firms with 20 or 30 consultants managing hundreds of millions of dollars for executives, enterprise wealth management firms managing hundreds of billions of dollars in assets for a wide variety of clients,” he says – and tailoring their insights to them so they can be more human advisor could explain to them what was happening with their money.
Use of market data and individual customer goals
Vasavada also noted that Vise Intelligence was trained using “tens of thousands of market data points on various companies, company fundamentals and broad market trends,” and that this training was combined with information from each customer into a confident conclusion.
“This is historical information and forward-looking information,” Vasavada clarified, including the client’s past positions, trades, profits and losses, as well as their financial goals, risk tolerance, retirement date and other financial milestones such as sending children to school or purchasing houses.
All of this, in turn, is combined with the financial advisor’s guidance, which tells Vise Intelligence what strategies and investment options the advisor wants to pursue to achieve their clients’ goals.
“Think of it as input from the market, the client and the advisor,” Vasavada said.
Vise did not provide details on how customer data is secured, but Vasavada said: “The data is very safe and secure.”
Ultimately, the company believes that “wealth management is undergoing a transformation,” says Vasavada, where “technology and investment management will no longer be separate.” And Vise wants to be the go-to resource for financial advisors when it comes to serving more clients with a human touch.
The ideal scenario for Vise’s financial advisor clients is: “You’ve gone from previously managing 100 clients to being able to manage 150 clients, and all of your time is spent doing what you love to do, which is managing and building of customer relationships,” the CEO told VentureBeat.
Of course, this type of scaling also benefits Vise, which retains a portion of its clients’ revenue from their services and their clients’ portfolio performance.
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