AI for Fund Managers: How to Use It to Streamline Operations (Part One of Three)

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the investment management industry has traditionally focused on quantitative investing. Nevertheless, fund managers can use AI for several back-office functions, including monitoring trader behavior, assisting with the anti-money laundering/know your customer process and improving cybersecurity defenses. Employing AI for these purposes, however, does not come without challenges, particularly for smaller managers. This article, the first in a three-part series, explores what AI is; how prevalent it is in the funds industry; how it can be used; how fund managers can determine what functions to automate and what obstacles may interfere with implementing AI solutions; and whether humans are still needed in the process. The second article will analyze what the U.S. government and others are doing to both promote AI and foster its responsible use; how fund managers should diligence and contract with third-party AI service providers; and what risks of bias exist. The third article will evaluate how fund managers can automate their legal departments and what they should do to ensure that they maintain their data subjects’ privacy. For a discussion of machine learning in the quantitative-investing context, see our three-part series: “Dispelling Myths and Misconceptions” (Aug. 9, 2018); “Regulatory Action, Guidance and Risk” (Aug. 23, 2018); and “Special Risks and Considerations” (Sep. 6, 2018).

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