Investment Banking Soon to be Taken Over by Artificial IntelligenceMarch 7, 2017
Every finance aspirant, at one point or another, envisioned themselves as one among the many professionals in crisp suits and black pencil skirts, walking along the hallowed hallways banks like Morgan Stanley. While some individuals choose the more tried and tested route to achieve this aspiration, like pursuing their MBA, there are many others who make use of new and innovative ways to achieve their ambition. These ways include pursuing of intensive professional training courses, which are becoming popular by the day. Courses offered by Imarticus Learning are gradually becoming the go-to courses, chosen by those especially who wish to become Investment Bankers.
One of the most exciting areas of work, in the field of Investment Banking, is working in the front office. This area is usually what most of the exciting Investment Banking movies revolve around and it’s here that the real game is played. The ‘front office’ is divided into Sales and Trading, Corporate Finance and Research. It may be seen that the recent times have been experiencing a great amount of technological change in these three sub-fields of Investment Banking. Artificial Intelligence and business process automation are two of the many analytics technologies, with the help of which these three fields are attempted to be deconstructed.
Let’s begin with Sales and Trading, roles in this sphere are popularly known as the alpha roles in Investment Banking. The professionals working on these positions were considered to be the leaders of the wolf pack and they were very capable of getting away with just about anything. This has changed as the ‘nerds’ have steadily begun to replace them. This shift is the result of technology specifically, computer engineers taking up the positions. Goldman Sachs reportedly had over 30% of computer engineers as their traders. Recently another big gun, JP Morgan hired their Global Head of Machine Learning from Microsoft. What is surprising about this recruitment, is that the professional has absolutely no background in finance whatsoever.
When it comes to Investment Banks, a huge chunk of their work is carried on by the Mergers and Acquisitions Departments and the IPOs. It is common knowledge that artificial intelligence has already begun to make its presence felt in the field of accounting. Similarly, Corporate Finance is not being left behind as there are a number of well-paid analysts, managing the sweaty work for their Managing Directors. The field of IPOs is also being transformed, much similarly to what the CFO of Goldman Sachs has to say. He says, “Goldman Sachs has already mapped 146 distinct steps taken in IPOs offering stock and most of them are begging to be automated”. It won’t be long before stock market is made up of all the secondary markets created by FinTech companies.
Anyone who is a finance aspirant would be expected to know the difference between ‘active funds’ and ‘passive funds’. The million dollar ideas of all of those Portfolio Managers who build active products come from paid research teams at various Investment Banks. In the recent times, this basic financial commentary is speedily automated. With technologies like the blockchain technology and banks teaming up with software companies, it seems that the entire banking sector is set to undergo an overhaul, courtesy of AI and Data Science.
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