Boosting the delivery of digital innovations to the market: Ai for Alpha and Lombard Odier

The EIT Digital Innovation Factory invests in pan-European entrepreneurial teams together with EIT Digital partners in five strategic focus areas: Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Finance, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Tech.

Partners contribute technology, talent, business models and channels to the market to build deep tech digital innovations and new ventures.

A great example of how this approach leads to successful outcomes is the partnership between Ai for Alpha and Lombard Odier Investment Managers.

The French financial software company and the asset management arm of the Swiss banking group, united in an EIT Digital innovation activity aimed at using artificial intelligence to assist asset managers in their investment decisions.

“When we started discussing the integration of machine learning techniques into our own investment process, there was a lot of resonance between what Ai for Alpha was doing and what we wanted to achieve. We felt that their expertise was truly relevant, so we decided to partner with them,” Serge Tabachnik, Head of Research of Lombard Odier Investment Managers, says.

The collaboration started within the “Create the augmented asset manager using state-of-the art machine learning methods” innovation activity. In November 2020, the activity led to the creation and successful launch of the Ai for Alpha startup.

The venture soon generated interest from investors, closing its first round of private funding from a group of French business angels. It also quickly signed first-class customers such as investment bank Société Générale, asset manager Homa Capital and wealth manager Meilleur Placement.

Investors and clients were impressed by how Ai for Alpha’s technology can quickly identify the key variables to be considered on an investment decision, helping asset managers to build better performing portfolios.

Lombard Odier acted both as a partner and first customer, teaming up with Ai for Alpha to test the solution internally within its own allocation process.

“Standard clients usually receive the turnkey application. Lombard Odier, on the contrary, had total access to the code and did a full due diligence on the methodology. This enabled them to validate the pertinence of the solution to an extent which would not have been normally possible. And all this thanks to EIT Digital, which promoted and facilitated the collaboration, which otherwise wouldn't have happened,” the startup’s CEO, Béatrice Guez, says.

For Lombard Odier, another positive aspect of being part of EIT Digital’s ecosystem is access to talent. The EIT Digital Entrepreneurial Academy is a major source for deep-tech experts: students with in-depth knowledge of STEM subjects, but also with an entrepreneurial, can-do mindset.

“I think for us the Academy was very useful, being able to interact with some of the students and getting some CVs. We have seen quite a lot of interesting applications, and we're still receiving more from potential candidates that we'd like to work with,” Tabachnik says.

“For EIT Digital, providing business and entrepreneurs with the technology, talent, and growth support is key to making sure Europe stays at the forefront of digital innovation.” Says Maria Costeira, Head of Innovation Factory at EIT Digital.


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Co-Funded by the European Union