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Allianz AI Hackathon[Press release]

ESSENTIA ANALYTICS WINS INVESTOR DE-BIASING CATEGORY AT ALLIANZ ‘AI HACKATHON’

Essentia’s Technology Recognized for Helping to Improve Investment Decision-Making at Inaugural Event in London.

Allianz Global Investors’ first Hackathon was held in Shoreditch in East London. The event signals the investment manager’s commitment to AI and the use of disruptive technology in its active investment portfolios. Photo source: AllianzGI

London – November 21, 2018 – Essentia Analytics (Essentia), a leading provider of behavioral data analytics and consulting for professional investors, today announced it won the “Investment De-Biasing” use case competition at an investment management Hackathon hosted by Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) in London last week.

Designed to explore the adoption of new technology in the active investment process, AllianzGI’s first-ever Hackathon was held over three days and included 30 hackers, ten teams, three use cases, and 49 hours for the competitors to “get the job done.”

The participants, from leading AI and big data startups around the world, were charged with providing insights and data in three use cases focused around decision biases, AI-generated research data, and enhancing forecasts, and judged by a panel of senior experts from AllianzGI and Allianz Asset Management.

For the use case on decision biases, Essentia demonstrated and quantified how its technology could identify and mitigate a host of biases across a number of common patterns of portfolio manager behavior.

By unanimous vote, the AllianzGI judges selected Essentia Analytics as the winner in its class. Andreas Utermann, CEO of Allianz Global Investors, characterized Essentia’s proposition of proactive nudging as “outstanding” and, referring to AGI, cited it as “a good fit for our thinking and the best solution to our challenge.”

Essentia’s behavioral data analytics technology will now be piloted by AllianzGI.  

Essentia winning the award for “Investment Debiasing” at the AGI Hackathon. Pictured from left to right: Clare Flynn Levy (Founder and CEO of Essentia), Andreas Utermann (CEO of Allianz Global Investors), James Ramirez (CTO of Essentia), Gabriella Hodosan (Python Engineer at Essentia), and Chris Woodcock (Head of Research and Product at Essentia).

The Hackathon was concluded with remarks by AllianzGI Global Head of Strategy Thorsten Heymann, who said: “If we embrace technology in the right way, if we have an edge, then we can give the best solutions in active asset management to our clients. We carry technology in our heart and we have a passion for it. Ultimately that is why we are who we are…. Active is: Allianz Global Investors.”

Clare Flynn Levy, founder and CEO of Essentia, said “In the last 18 months, we have seen a strategic shift within active fund management institutions: they are more seriously considering how they can use technology and data to compete. AllianzGI has decided to ‘lean in’ to being active managers, and they used this Hackathon as a way to promote that agenda internally, as well as to ensure that they are partnering with the best-of-breed vendors for their specific use cases. We are proud to have won and look forward to partnering with AllianzGI.”

About Allianz Global Investors

Allianz Global Investors is a leading active asset manager with over 700 investment professionals in 25 offices worldwide and managing more than EUR 500 billion in assets for individuals, families and institutions. www.allianzgi.com


About Essentia

Essentia Analytics is a leading provider of behavioral data analytics and consulting for professional investors. Led by a team comprised of experts in investment management, technology and behavioral science, Essentia combines next-generation data analytics technology with human coaching to help active fund managers measurably improve investment decision-making. Founded in 2013, the firm has repeatedly been recognized as a leading FinTech provider by financial technology and investment industry publications and associations. Essentia is headquartered in London and has an office in New York City.

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