The Rise and Fall of Vise: A Look into the Future of Financial Advisors with AI

In the fast-paced world of artificial intelligence, it’s surprising that the fintech industry, particularly financial advisors, hasn’t received much attention in the race to embrace generative AI. However, this is about to change with the emergence of Vise. As a seven-year-old New York City fintech company, co-founded by two individuals at the age of 16, Vise has faced its fair share of challenges. It experienced a significant drop in assets under management (AUM), lost its largest client and had to go through a series of layoffs. These setbacks were attributed to the co-founders’ inexperience and lack of attention. However, Vise is now ready for a comeback with the introduction of its new AI service called Vise Intelligence.

Vise Intelligence is a conversational AI model designed to support human financial advisors by providing them with reports, answering their queries, and offering real-time information about investment portfolios. The goal is to enhance the effectiveness of financial advisors and ultimately improve investment outcomes for clients. For example, a financial advisor subscribing to Vise Intelligence can simply say, “Ava Harris called with concerns about investing in energy companies.” Immediately, Vise Intelligence will provide information about Ava’s specific portfolio, suggest potential adjustments based on her preferences, and even draft an email explaining the proposed changes to her investment strategy. This system ensures that human advisors remain in control while benefiting from the assistance of Vise Intelligence in gathering information and generating useful insights.

Vise was founded in 2016, a year before the generative AI boom, which revolutionized the industry. The release of the “Attention Is All You Need” paper by Google researchers on arxiv introduced the transformer model architecture that now underpins Vise Intelligence and other leading AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Initially, Vise offered highly personalized portfolios by automating the investment management process and providing detailed insights on each investment decision. Although specifics about the AI technology used in Vise Intelligence were not disclosed, the CEO mentioned that it incorporates cutting-edge large language models fine-tuned using relevant investment and portfolio management data.

Vise Intelligence is designed to analyze information from every specific client in a financial advisor’s portfolio. This encompasses a wide range of clients, from high-net-worth individuals to small single-person firms managing money for teachers and firemen, as well as boutique firms and enterprise wealth management firms serving many different clients. The AI model customizes its insights for each client, enabling the financial advisor to explain and guide them through their financial situation. To achieve this, Vise Intelligence was trained on tens of thousands of data points from the market, encompassing various companies, their fundamentals, and broader market trends. This training data is combined with information provided by each individual client, such as previous positions, trades, gains, losses, financial goals, risk tolerance, and other milestones.

While Vise did not provide explicit details about its data security measures, the CEO assured that client data is highly secure and protected. The combination of market information, client data, and advisor guidance occurs within a secure inference environment. This ensures that confidential client information remains safeguarded throughout the AI-assisted advisory process.

According to Vise’s CEO, wealth management is undergoing a transformation where technology and investment management are becoming inseparable. Vise aims to be at the forefront of this transformation by enabling financial advisors to serve a larger clientele while maintaining a human touch. The ultimate goal is to enhance advisors’ scalability, allowing them to manage more clients with ease and dedicate more time to building meaningful relationships. This scalable approach benefits both financial advisors and Vise, as the company receives a percentage of its clients’ earnings and portfolio performance.

Vise’s journey from a former unicorn to the resurgence of its business is a testament to the potential of generative AI in the fintech industry. With Vise Intelligence, financial advisors can leverage AI-powered assistance to provide better investment outcomes for their clients. The AI model analyzes vast amounts of data, personalizes insights, and empowers advisors to make informed decisions. As technology continues to reshape the wealth management landscape, Vise stands ready to empower financial advisors and revolutionize the industry.

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