Aelm – FinTech for Fairness?

In 2008, Maysam Rizvi was one of a group of banking heads gathered for summit talks in Reykjavik as the reality of Iceland’s financial capitulation hit home.

With the writing on the wall, Rizvi – who was then serving as Vice President at United Overseas Bank – was one of a committee of creditors, depositors and investors looking to pull money out of the country’s failed system.

Following one particularly bad-tempered session, as the country’s monetary future was painted in especially bleak tones, Rizvi cooled off with a long walk through a deflated Icelandic capital. Between his steps, a reality hit home: decisions taken by the few in bank boardrooms unleash life-changing repercussions on the many; the financial collapse a case-in- point.

Seed planted, Rizvi began devising a solution to challenge and disrupt the clunky, flawed systems –in data, in process, in culture – on which modern finance rests.

The question in his mind was how best to tighten banks’ deployment of data – in line with the unstoppable march of automation – to deliver maximum efficiency benefits for not only the institution, but also for its employees, and especially for its end users.

Rizvi’s solution is Aelm, a technology and consultancy hybrid that’s now emerging from soft launch phase with an impressive set of early breakthroughs. Delivery of six-figure savings for a tier one bank, and redesigns of both technology strategy and data architecture on behalf of Carrington, represent just two launch phase wins.

And with that degree of validation, Rizvi’s solution is ready for launch proper.

Aelm bookends a technological solution with consultancy and education. First, Aelm works closely with clients to understand their overall strategy and business goals – aligning the project accordingly. Keeping people at the centre of change initiatives means education, training and change management are interwoven and delivered throughout a campaign.

Aelm’s main MO is to leave institutions with the know-how to drive and manage a new era of efficiency themselves.

Between consultancy and education, Aelm technology drills into data: compiling, managing and packaging some of the quintillions of bytes that flow through our data systems on a daily basis.

Using the banking industry’s gargantuan pool of generic data, institutions’ own data, and external social intelligence, business intelligence and real-time trading data, Aelm splices, sifts and sorts information. With advanced machine learning, Aelm tech has the ability to exponentially learn and grow.

Partnering with leading dashboard technologies, Aelm’s deep-data insights are filtered and readied for use in real time. These powerful, actionable insights reveal untapped opportunities within a client’s processes, systems, data, and culture, uncovering the kind of efficiency savings – and the competitive edge – banks crave.

Aelm’s main proposition is that it mines and compiles rich data in order to unknot inefficiencies, and it backs it the tech with consultancy and education. But there’s nothing strictly new in that, especially in a blooming UK FinTech sector.

Where Aelm differs from peers is in its consultancy and strategy, which comes courtesy of a management team that boasts 80 years’ experience leading innovation and change at global institutions such as Standard Chartered and Barclays.

Maysam Rizvi himself is responsible for the roadmapping and global rollout of J.P. Morgan’s Client Insights, an analytics solution that plugged the bank’s diffuse business units into a central data flow, accessing client trade flows, credit, capital and leverage usage information. The product was widely adopted across most J.P. Morgan geographies – and set a new industry standard.

If the depth of Aelm’s expertise is USP number one, the next is the company’s mission to push the efficiency savings it uncovers down the chain – to benefit clients and customers on the ground.

As an industry, banking will soon rely incalculably on automation. And because Artificial Intelligence (AI) is merely the manifestation of data, it’s no exaggeration to state that the future will be built on data. It’s the evolution of a process that started with the ATM and, as the tech curve tightens, it’ll ramp up exponentially.

Aelm’s philosophy is that automation in the industry is a given – and a good thing. But the value must be pushed down to customers via better products, service and benefits. If data is the new oil that will grease the wheels of banking, it’s only fair that institutions welcome customers – whose data it is – to share the fruits of a new era.

This paradigm is the entire raison d’etre of superpower companies like Google and Uber. And Aelm aims to lead banks and institutions into a new school of thinking.

As Aelm moves into post-launch phase, the company – which counts several powerful clients on its roster – has pledged to give 10 percent of its profits to community groups, once again ensuring that the fruits of banking can be shared around, even just a little.

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Author: Dylan Jones

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