Interview

AITech Interview with Nathan Stevenson, Founder and CEO at ForwardLane

Explore personalized advisory platforms, AI-driven insights, and the future of client engagement. 

Can you tell us about your journey and what motivated you to co-found ForwardLane, particularly focusing on AI’s role in financial services?

My journey into fintech came to me when I worked at the multi-asset alternative asset manager, CQS. There, we could find insights and act on them far ahead of financial institutions. When I saw how difficult it was for advisors to get to insights, I came up with the vision of an AI co-pilot for every financial advisor. With EMERGE, that vision is now a reality. EMERGE analyzes all your data to uncover opportunities and deliver insights tailored to each user and client.

ForwardLane is known for its proactive and personalized advisory platform. How does AI play a pivotal role in achieving this level of personalization and what sets it apart from traditional approaches?

EMERGE combines AI, data aggregation of portfolio, market data, marketing, behavioral, demographic and psychographic and natural language generation to provide hyper-personalized guidance. Imagine having a data scientist, a personal communications coach, and a strategist dedicated to each client – that’s the power of EMERGE. It detects signals and recommends next actions unique to the individual.

You’ve been a noted commentator on AI’s application in financial services. Could you share some specific examples of how AI has benefited asset managers and insurance distribution?

EMERGE digests and learns from your data enterprise-wide to reveal new distribution opportunities. It informs your sales teams which clients to focus on and what to talk about. It can create advisor profile briefs on the fly, and then recommend an engagement plan. The ROI can be game-changing.

ForwardLane’s AI platform combines NLP with enterprise data aggregation. Could you elaborate on how this combination enhances client engagement and provides personalized content?

EMERGE’s hybrid AI extracts insights you never knew existed from both structured and unstructured data. This gives a 360-degree view of each client by connecting the dots across siloed datasets. EMERGE GPT has all of these insights to seed accurate answers and provide advice on how to engage clients effectively.

In the context of ForwardLane’s offerings, could you explain how the API framework seamlessly integrates insights into existing workflows and CRM systems?

EMERGE seamlessly integrates guidance into your existing platforms. Imagine having your CRM proactively guide your next best action for each client interaction.

You have expertise in a wide range of areas including global capital markets, derivatives, and high-performance applications. How have these areas of expertise contributed to the development of ForwardLane’s technology and solutions?

My background in hedge fund quant finance, high-performance computing and high-frequency trading technology allows EMERGE to leverage institutional-grade analytics in a turnkey platform. The inefficiencies in large organizations, led us to create new tools to make life easier for enterprise users. EMERGE democratizes insight creation, data science, effective communications and client engagement for all users

Could you share some insights into how ForwardLane approaches risk management and operations in the context of AI-driven solutions for financial services?

EMERGE is built to enterprise-grade standard from the ground up with model explainability, data governance, and security. This means SOC2 and GDPR compliance, bank-grade encryption and the highest commitment to transparency. In fact, we are Transparency-certified – the highest standard for data privacy, security, and ESG. You get cutting-edge AI that you can trust.

With your background in program management and project management, how does this expertise translate into successful implementations of AI solutions for your clients?

With EMERGE, implementations are turnkey and non-disruptive. Our program manager came from LinkedIn with over 15 years of SVP experience. We handle the complexity behind the scenes so users instantly get value. We offer self-hosted, managed and fully web-based options.

ForwardLane has been recognized as a fast-growing and award-winning AI wealth tech startup. Could you tell us about some of the milestones and achievements that have contributed to this success?

It’s great to be recognized by the industry as a WealthTech 100 and AI Fintech 100, as well as having the privilege of working with the World Economic Forum on AI in Financial Services research. Collaborations with New York University’s Data Science group on applied AI, along with amazing accelerator programs with Fintech Innovation Labs New York, Barclays Techstars London, SixThirty Fintech and the Onramp Insuretech accelerator helped us get us to where we are today. We’re proud of the exponential growth EMERGE is set to drive for clients. Leading financial institutions are achieving game-changing ROI,ut this is just the beginning.

Looking ahead, what do you envision for the future of AI in financial services, and how does ForwardLane plan to stay at the forefront of innovation in this field?

EMERGE gives every professional their own AI advisor. This AI advisor is flexible and dynamic, synthesizing insights, replaying them and summarizing them for you, and then contextualizing them for each client to get it just right. All with a few prompts. This paradigm shift will define the future of client engagement and unlock unimagined human potential.

Lastly, could you highlight any ongoing or upcoming projects or developments at ForwardLane that our audience should be excited about?

EMERGE is our no-code generative intelligence platform. It combines the power of navigating large amounts of enterprise data with ease, to create, preview and publish insights for a wider enterprise audience or just for your own use. This is fully integrated with EMERGE GPT, so the new insights you create can now be applied and used with all of your clients interactively through a conversation interface. All with enterprise-grade security and compliance. EMERGE delivers on the promise of enterprise AI. I invite you to be among the first to leverage its capabilities and transform your business. The value is immense.

Nathan Stevenson

CEO, ForwardLane

Prior to launching ForwardLane in 2015, Nathan worked for a number of years in the financial services and technology sectors, including roles at BNP Paribas, asset manager CQS, and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Nathan is passionate about AI and since founding ForwardLane has been a noted commentator on its application in financial services, spoken as a thought leader on the subject at Yale and MIT Sloan and also contributed to research initiatives with Oxford Saïd Business School, Cambridge University and the World Economic Forum. 

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