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    Technology creates the augmented banker

    Technology creates the augmented banker

    Article published in Le Temps, June 19, 2018 by Sébastien Ruche.

    Arash Sorouchyari is the Head of Wealth Management IT Solutions Development at Lombard Odier Group. An EPFL engineer, he leads a team of around sixty employees who imagine and create the tools that will be used by future bankers.

    Le Temps: Since when did technology play a decisive role in wealth management?

    Arash Sorouchyari: When I joined Lombard Odier in 1995, we were already experiencing a wave of innovation, the web was expanding, Google didn’t yet exist. This was the moment when the bank launched a vast reflection to rethink its IT platform, which was based on large mainframes and central computers connected to terminals. We were a small group of bankers and engineers rethinking portfolio management activity by building prototypes that were deployed from 1998-1999. The system was successful because it met the needs of bankers and clients. Then other banks were interested in our solutions and joined our technology platform from 2001. This innovation opened up new perspectives. Today, with the new wave of digitalisation, we find ourselves in a similar period, a new turning point.

    Le Temps: Which of today's new technologies do you see as the most promising?

    Arash Sorouchyari: We observe them all. In private banking, artificial intelligence and data analysis certainly offer the most opportunities. Although we are not big players, we also closely monitor developments in technologies such as blockchain. Our thinking is based on the same principles we have carried throughout our history: how can you make sure a banker is as close as possible to his client? Technology can bring out what we call the "augmented banker".

    Le Temps: What do you mean?

    Arash Sorouchyari: Technology can support us, for example by identifying relevant information from masses of data points. It can also help us navigate increasingly complex context especially in the context of new regulation or tax rules. Finally, it can help meet the expectations of next- gen client who want a personalised experience with dynamic content.

    Le Temps: So, will the banker be replaced by technology?

    Arash Sorouchyari: In our business, without the banker, we are nothing. Bankers know their clients, their preferences and their constraints. Bankers can anticipate the clients’ wishes and the technology can suggest actions because of that knowledge. Much like how a GPS choose a route depending on the traffic and the final destination. But it is always the banker who decides and can offer new perspectives to the client. Especially as the technology helps to free up their time.



    important information.

    For professional investor use only.
    This document is issued by Lombard Odier Asset Management (Europe) Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”), and entered on the FCA register with registration number 515393.
    Lombard Odier Investment Managers (“LOIM”) is a trade name.
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