Today many financial technologists have artificial intelligence in their toolbox. Not so in 2012, when Alfred Eskandar, formerly head of corporate strategy at buy-side trading platform company Liquidnet Holdings, joined New Yorkbased Portware and set it apart with an AI component that raised the level of sophistication of its execution management system. As of November 2016, with the release of Portware Enterprise version 6.4, the "thinking EMS" offers real-time analytic and decision support enhancements that, according to the 43-year-old CEO, amount to "a virtual trading assistant" supporting complex, global strategies across multiple asset classes.
With more than $10 trillion in institutional assets running on its software, up from $3 trillion in 2012, Portware became part of FactSet Research Systems in an October 2015 acquisition. A year later FactSet bought CYMBA Technologies and Vermilion Software, U.K.-based providers of order management and client reporting systems, respectively. FactSet CEO Philip Snow says the company aims "to more holistically address the portfolio life cycle through both innovation and acquisition," and there is a clear implication that more moves are to come.
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