Posted inSingapore

AI-driven fund manager receives MAS grant

AutoCIO is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that generates investment portfolios based on machine-learning-driven analysis.
Qasim Nasar-Ullah, Arabesque

Arabesque, the developer of the AI fund manager, told FSA that it recently received a grant from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) under the Financial Sector Technology & Innovation – Artificial Intelligence & Data Analytics scheme to enhance its service.

The two-year project, sponsored by the Singapore central bank, will explore how AI can analyse and model raw data to enable better decision-making through their automated asset management service – AutoCIO, launched last year.

“Clients can build customised investment portfolios through AutoCIO. To enhance this offering, the project focuses on developing solutions for curating and refining raw data into interpretable datasets,” said Dr Qasim Nasar-Ullah, co-founder of Arabesque AI, head of the research project.

“This includes removing data biases, and developing models trained on data-rich markets for application in other areas where data is lacking. Once our research is complete, we will be able to apply these learnings to enhance our existing service for clients,” he added.

Although the amount of the grant was not disclosed, Arabesque said it has already started the recruitment process, and expects to have its eight-man team fully staffed in the second half of 2022.


Launched last September, the AutoCIO is a fully AI fund manager that creates active investment strategies driven by an AI engine.

The engine monitors and forecasts the performance of around 25,000 stocks, then generates investment portfolios customised on criteria such as geographic, sector, market cap, degree of diversification, and investment tilt.

The platform can be used both to supplement conventional asset management services and to create different, highly customised funds at a lower cost, said Nasar-Ullah.

“Financial institutions spend significant capital on R&D, data and technology before considering personnel costs and time commitment to build investment portfolios. With AutoCIO, these financial institutions can build dozens of bespoke strategies very quickly and the required spend to deploy the same capabilities is significantly reduced,” he added.

To address sustainable investors’ needs, the platform can also include ESG performance, alignment to the UN Global Compact or Paris goal into the stock selection process.

AutoCIO has created thousands of strategies since its launch in September, with an AUM of just less than S$500m ($369.6m), according to Arabesque.

Arabesque is also partnering with financial institutions in Asia such as asset managers, insurers, wealth managers and wealthtech companies to enable them to build investment portfolios for their clients.

For instance, partnering with BIMB Investment Management, Arabesque launched the ESG Shariah Technology strategy in Malaysia late last year. “We will be looking to build these types of partnerships and sub-advisory solutions throughout Asia,

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