ForwardLane is a fast-growing, award-winning applied AI fintech startup that dramatically enhances productivity with AI-powered insights for financial advisors and fund distributors. Their patent-pending insight platform featuring NLP built for financial services, synthesizes data to find signals for personalized client engagement.
The platform delivers insights integrated into financial advisor and fund distributors workflows in CRM, with Salesforce being a key partner. The platform acts as a powerful “virtual analyst” reviewing all the data across all clients everyday, ranking and scoring it and then surfacing signals for growth opportunities, wallet share increase, retention conversations and awareness across the book as to who to reach out to, and what to talk about. Together this fuels organic, scalable growth through frequent, proactive personalized engagement.
Nathan Stevenson is CEO and Founder of ForwardLane supercharging financial services professionals with personalized insights for their clients. Nathan is a speaker on AI in wealth and asset management at Yale, MIT, InVest NYC, Euromoney Global Private Banking conference, CFA Institute – AI in Wealth Management, Institutional Investor roundtable, featured by FORBES, World Economic Forum, American Banker and more. In this interview, Stevenson shares his outlook on the current state of wealth management as well as what plans ForwardLane is going to accomplish in the future.
What was the history of ForwardLane’s creation? Why did the company decide to focus on wealth management?
Nathan Stevenson: ForwardLane started in New York in the Credit Suisse Private Bank in New York in 2015. Advisors were being flooded with research in their inboxes, there was a queue outside the door of the portfolio construction teams. Overall it was challenging for relationship managers to reach beyond the top 20% of their book because of the information overload. Having worked in quantitative research at CQS, the Belgravia, London-based alternative asset manager, we were able to see the financial crisis before it happened. Millions did not and lost a lot of their savings.
It was this crystalizing moment, realizing that if we are able to get the right insights delivered to people at the right time we could make a real difference to millions. And that’s what we’ve done – we’ve built an Insight Automation platform that uses AI to read and process data to provide precise, personalized insights at scale. It’s a powerful enabler for wealth managers empowering them to offer a superior personalized client experience to many more clients.
How has your company evolved and what are the biggest achievements that you’ve already accomplished?
Nathan Stevenson: ForwardLane initially started out offering an AI-powered insight platform with APIs that enable large financial services firms to prioritize clients dynamically and provide personalized insights and content.
We are able to aggregate and synthesize both structured and unstructured data from CRM, Custody Platforms, News, Research, Marketing platforms and more. One of our unique capabilities is around mining CRM data and then linking that to existing data to find new opportunities for engaging, and most importantly what might have been missed. This helps with client retention and new business. We have 5 patents pending around our NLP and Insight Platform.
We’ve been recognized in the WealthTech 100 awards as one of the world’s most innovative technology providers for wealth and asset management and by KPMG/ H2 as a top 100 fintech globally.
This year we have launched P3 – our cloud-based offering for RIAs. It’s revolutionary because it has all the power of the platform used by large financial institutions, without the cost and setup issues. Infact, we’re able to get RIAs setup in weeks with automation of data analysis that saves them time, helps prep for meetings faster and makes it easier to provide personalized service to their clients.
What features give your platform the greatest advantage over competitors? Why?
Nathan Stevenson: We’re the only AI Fintech firm that can automatically analyze CRM data and find patterns in the relationship and then cross-check this against your “hard data” sitting in custody and planning software for you. We then automatically surface the results and provide Next Best Actions for client engagement.
Next Best Actions learns from the best practices of people in your organization, and makes it easy to see what has worked best and is “most popular” with other clients. Morgan Stanley has a Next Best Action engine which helps drive new business for their advisors. If you’re not Morgan Stanley, then ForwardLane is your best choice as we are only focused on wealth and asset management as a vertical fintech solution and have spent years with leading researchers and industry partners to create a platform that meets the industry’s unique needs.
We’re also the only offering on the market which enables our clients to easily setup and configure the master algorithm to their own firm’s needs and views. Your firm remains differentiated, and your Insight engine is unique and then learns from the daily usage and behavior of people in your firm. It has your own signature on it and is specially configured for you.