Margaret Hartigan, Marstone

Margaret Hartigan, Marstone

Marstone, a New York-based financial services firm, has teamed up with IBM Watson for Wealth Management to offer digital advice assisted by cognitive computing.

The plan is for Marstone’s platform, powered by Watson, to use data, patterns and natural language to provide cognitive advice and learn from experience.

Margaret Hartigan, chief executive of Marstone, says the company and IBM will initially work with advisers who custody with Pershing, part of BNY Mellon, and then “others later”.

The “robo-advisers” will help clients with planning and managing investments by analysing behaviour, identifying trends and being predictive.

Marstone will incorporate other IBM services, including business consulting and analytics.

In an interview with Investment News, Hartigan says Marstone is also working on a consumer-facing version to be launched, which would use cognitive computing, but is focused on the business-to-business platform for now. The technology should be implemented this year.

“The wealth transfer is so huge, it can’t be done by humans alone,” Hartigan says. “It will help institutions better serve and engage with clients.”

Meanwhile, in Japan

Earlier this month, Mizuho Bank announced plans to use a new robotics platform developed by IBM Research-Tokyo for the bank’s customer service-oriented robots.

IBM says its researchers are developing new technologies that will “benefit” Mizuho’s Robotics platform by tapping into Watson’s language and other capabilities to provide a “smoother human/robot interaction and to enable collaboration between two or more robots”.

Beginning in May, Mizuho Bank will deploy this platform on Pepper robots from SoftBank Robotics across local branches in Japan.