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Sanlam launches artificial intelligence fund

By Angelique Ruzicka

The landscape around how financial services are managed and run is changing. Increasingly, industries are seeking to automate (use machines and robots) and the asset management industry is looking to do the same. This is why it comes as no surprise that Sanlam Global Investment Solutions (SGIS) has launched the Sanlam Managed Risk UCITS Fund, which is now solely managed by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) – making it the first Balanced Fund in the world fully driven by AI. 

The financial markets have been through significant change in recent years. With unprecedented central bank participation, markets now move faster than ever before. Investment strategies need to keep pace in order to provide investors with the optimal client experience.  

David Itzkovits (pictured) head of investments for SGIS, said: “The goal at SGIS was to find a solution that can adapt as quickly as the markets change. Our AI capability does this by applying the latest ML techniques that have multiple years of live operational experience and a real, impressive track record. The AI investment engine derives its decision making in a different way to other investments and should be viewed within a client’s overall investment strategy as a diversifier of existing human manager risk. Because in today’s world, it’s not man vs. machines, it's man with machines vs. man without.”

Cobus Kruger, chief executive officer of SGIS, added:  “The purpose of AI is to help humans more efficiently process and interpret the vast amounts of data. Machine Learning autonomously learns and adapts to new data without being pre-programmed and at speeds that are far beyond human capacity. These two factors together should provide good value and help deliver better, more consistent outcomes for investors.” 

The launch of Sanlam’s AI managed fund comes on the back of ItransactGo, an independent robo-advice platform. Robo advice, AI and ML is set to be the way of the future as humans seek to outsource mundane tasks to machines. Internationally, many asset management firms and banks are embracing the technology and either creating departments that specialise in AI or buying established businesses that already offer this technology. 

Just this week BlackRock has invested in a European online robo advice provider, Scalable Capital. It bought the stake together with two venture capital providers, Holtzbrinck and Tengelmann. Global Bank, HSBC is also set to roll out robo-advice to investors with small savings pots. Reports say the bank will burst into robo advice with a perso

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