AI platform Exabel selected for third cohort of Investment Association’s fintech innovation programme

Exabel, an AI platform for fundamental asset managers, has won one of five places for fintechs on Engine, the Investment Association’s innovation hub designed to bring new tech to its investment management member firms.

After three years in pilot development, the firm has launched commercially and has secured a range of European clients, including Iguana Investments, an equity long/short fund, that integrates fundamental and quantitative investment analysis. 

Exabel’s ‘quantamental’ technology enables discretionary managers to complement their fundamental strategies with more data-driven techniques, from simple augmentation of existing screening and optimisation of portfolios (often still on Excel), through to powerful AI models for prediction and monitoring. 

The company was founded in 2016 in Oslo by data scientist and entrepreneur Øyvind Grotmol. Its management team was significantly strengthened in 2019 with the arrival of Neil Chapman as the company's new CEO and Martin Holtet as the company's CPO, with Grotmol now focusing on his work as CTO. Clients include DNB Asset Management, one of the largest asset managers in the Nordic region, Folketrygdfondet, the largest institutional investor on the Oslo Stock Exchange, Arctic Fund Management. 

Chapman comments: “Exabel gives immediate value to non-technical portfolio manager and analyst users. There are greater pressures on active portfolio managers than ever, but developing custom-built, in-house AI and data analysis is a huge challenge for most firms. Our AI modelling workflow puts portfolio managers in control, freeing up their time, perhaps especially for the broader field beyond stocks they follow closely.  We are getting a strong response from asset managers across Europe – CIOs like the flexibility of the service.”

Chris Reid, CEO of hedge fund Iguana Investments, an Exabel user, says: “Exabel levels the playing field for active managers. It’s an easy to navigate web app, and makes possible modelling and ideas you simply wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. It’s quite transformative in terms of workflow.”

Grotmol adds: “Our team includes people with direct experience at leading banks and asset managers, as well as mathematicians, engineers and designers, so we’ve been able to ensure our tech is carefully aligned to what portfolio managers actually want to use. We designed Exabel from the ground up, to complement, not replace, the human decision maker.”

In addition to discretionary managers, Exabel works with sell-side customers, who use it to develop and share insights with their audiences, and alternative data vendors, helping them communicate the value in their data to prospective data licensee clients.