Northern Trust automates data extraction from alternative asset documentation

As part of its initiative to digitalise alternative asset servicing, Northern Trust has launched an artificial intelligence-powered solution to extract unstructured investment data from alternative asset documents and make it accessible and actionable for asset owner clients.

Built in collaboration with Microsoft Azure Applied AI Services, which accelerate time to value for enterprises building AI solutions, and business and consulting firm Neudesic, the proprietary solution transforms crucial information such as capital call notices, cash and stock distribution notices, and capital account statements from a variety of unstructured formats into digital, actionable insights for investment teams.
 
“The integration of unstructured data on alternative assets will fill a crucial missing piece for asset owners who have long sought an accurate view of performance, liquidity and risk analytics across multi-asset portfolios,” says Pete Cherecwich, president of Corporate and Institutional Services at Northern Trust. “Automating investment data is a focus for Northern Trust, particularly for alternative assets due to their complexity and growing investor demand. Our investments in cloud technology, artificial intelligence, blockchain and machine learning will help asset owners achieve a true understanding of their assets and portfolios as a whole.”
 
Data extraction and integration is the second stage of a digitalisation process that will help asset owners access more current, robust information regarding their alternative assets - highly manual investments which traditionally only report on a monthly or quarterly basis. Northern Trust previously announced a custom-built robotic process automation solution to capture, categorise and store alternative asset documents on a cloud-based drive.
 
The new AI-powered data extraction capabilities will read stored documents and fund manager reports on holdings and performance of hedge funds, private equity and other alternative assets and pull out data points including asset names, currencies and market value. The two functions – document capture and data extraction – create an end-to-end, scalable, cloud-based process capable of moving from document receipt notification to digitised counting-ready data in just minutes.
 
“AI and natural language processing offers a profound impact on business processes across industries, and this use case is a stellar example of their potential for alternative asset administration,” says Bharat Sandhu, senior director, Azure AI and Machine Learning at Microsoft. “We’re proud to collaborate with Northern Trust to make these emerging technologies more accessible and put their benefits into the hands of institutional investors seeking greater efficiency and clearer insight into their investments.”

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