Belgian fintech hopes to add a dash of Pixar to robo-advice
There are plenty of global fintechs trying to get a slice of Australia’s $3 trillion superannuation and investment market, but there’s probably only one whose co-founders claim they are inspired by Pixar films.
Belgium-based robo-adviser start-up InvestSuite is using its artificial intelligence not only in the usual ways – to automate the risk profiling of advisers’ clients and the structuring of their portfolios – but also to spin those clients a yarn, says co-founder Bart Vanhaeren.
“We’re inspired by Disney or Pixar to tell the story of the performance of the portfolio,” he said. “We want it to be visually very attractive, and we try to bring in a hero or a villain.”
The product is called StoryTeller, and its AI tries to strip out the jargon and blather in funds’ or advisers’ reports to clients, replacing it with charts, weblinks and TV clips.
Instead of reading a fund-written blurb about, say, the recent market gyrations, it offers you a link to a newspaper article that explains it readably and intelligibly. Somehow the AI selects these articles itself, without human curation.
It can also construct a video presentation specifically for the individual client, explaining the portfolio’s performance in the format of a CNBC-style TV news bulletin, with an anchor throwing to reporters who tell the story.
“What StoryTeller does is very simply explain how their portfolio has changed. It’s quite a neat way, instead of receiving tables and numbers, it really gets to the ‘why things change’,” said Adrian Fisk, a former KPMG partner who has taken on the job of selling InvestSuite into the Australian market.
He’s looking to sell the B2B product to Australian super funds, banks and financial advisers, and has recruited Tim Smith, a veteran exec who spent much of his career in Westpac’s institutional and private banks.
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