UBS asked its millennial workers to disrupt its investment bank. The winners recommended utilizing machine learning tools to automate repetitive tasks – a capability known as Robotic Process Automation. The winning solution targeted the creation of standard term sheets and the creation of media (PowerPoint/Excel, etc.) of financial models and ultimately write an entire document:
Here’s the tech ideas they came up with:
“But by the end, there could only be one winner: the group of bankers Alexander Li, Dmitry Aksakov and Assiya Dair that proposed using artificial intelligence to help automate some of the more mundane tasks of investing banking.
Their solution, a family of applications with the promise and power to develop term sheets, would create PowerPoint presentations or financial models, and eventually, write entire documents. The team had help from Ronald Jansen, head of UBS’s Data and Analytics Lab, who joined earlier this year after 13 years running a team of quants at Goldman Sachs.
The winning team gets more time and money to work on the project, and an additional year-end bonus.
The runner up was a front-end dashboard for UBS’s customer relationship management software. A group that proposed a mobile app for communicating investor orders to clients selling equity or debt into the market fell to No. 3 in large part because another group in UBS was already working on a similar project. Other ideas included a predictive calendar for planning corporate meetings at upcoming conferences and a plan for tablets to replace physical pitch books.
To be sure, other Wall Street firms are already building some of the projects that these junior bankers are proposing. Goldman has begun automating the IPO process, other banks have book-build apps and machine learning is a hot trend across the industry.
But more than anything, the competition was a place where junior bankers could have their voices heard, get access to senior management, and enjoy a chance to think creatively, if even for just a couple hours of the day.
‘If we can release time from bankers to just think, sit there with a blank sheet of paper to think about their clients’ problems,” Kendall said, “then maybe we’ll move the ball forward a little
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group