The first annual TIBCO Financial Services Forum was a one-day exploration of Artificial, Human and Augmented Intelligence in financial technology. The event was timely and relevant against a backdrop of AI-driven Exchange Traded Fund launches while firms like Blackrock and State Street seek to fully automate the Portfolio Management lifecycle. The sheer pace of Fintech innovation presents challenges for financial firms still seeking to implement mature data and analytics programs - and opportunities for those already embracing modern infrastructure and technology.
Mark Palmer, TIBCO’s Senior Vice President of Analytics, welcomed a full hall of attendees and framed the day’s sessions of speakers and panelists. Mark was CEO of Streambase prior to TIBCO’s acquisition of the firm and has an appreciation for digital disruption: Streambase processes over 400,000 streaming messages per second to generate investment banking insight at scale.
Jeff McMillan, Chief Analytics and Data Officer of Morgan Stanley delivered an overview of AI in use in the Bank’s Wealth Management division overseeing $2 trillion in client assets. Jeff provided a practical perspective of what is achievable today with AI as distinguished from ambitious capabilities unlikely to be realized in the very near future. By demonstrating how incredibly complex an AI process needs to be to schedule a birthday party one could appreciate why every investment decision at the bank is not a product of AI, yet...
In some areas Morgan Stanley does generate real-time AI-driven recommendations based on massive sets of historical data; however, humans are often required to contextualize the output as part of the ultimate decision-making process. In these scenarios it is the combination of artificial and human intelligence optimizing the AI value proposition.
Jeff’s presentation was structured around a critical theme: start with the business challenge. Data and AI in isolation are not helpful nor are they the end-game; their value comes from solving business challenges. Thus, data science strategy and programs should be designed to solve business opportunities; efforts should be branded around the business need and not the technology. A data scientist who listens, learns and responds to the business is the most compelling type of data scientist – it’s a profile Jeff expressed is not necessarily positively correlated to number of PHDs held. The call for everyone building technology solutions to start with the business was a strong and welcome position to express at a Fintech event.
In a slightly unorthodox demonstration probably not seen in Morgan Stanley boardrooms, Jeff juggled fruit on stage to illustrate the complexity of applying AI to financial challenges. The juggling itself did not appear to be driven by AI.
David Rosen, TIBCO Digital Transformation Technologist & Strategist, and Michael O’Connell, TIBCO Chief Analytics Officer, provided an overview of data science capabilities across TIBCO applications. Several case studies of clients integrating technology in real-time and at scale to generate actionable insight helped tangibly highlight application value in the financial space. Rob MacNeil, TIBCO Global Director of Financial Services Solutions, closed out the speakers with a call to couple practicality with advanced analytic strategies.
Mark Palmer returned to host a panel discussion of leaders and their advanced analytics journeys. Themes explored included democratizing data science, visualizing blockchain, embracing disruption and appreciating – as we develop analytics capabilities - that the world will be very different in 5 years than it is today.
The forum wrapped up with a speed networking session connecting clients, analytics enthusiasts, partners and TIBCO resources. We're proud to be one of the event’s inaugural sponsors and share content with such an engaged community. TIBCO has created a valuable forum for Financial Services leaders to share, teach and learn about innovating with financial technology. Thanks to all the attendees for making it happen and for TIBCO for doing what they do best: providing the platform.