UBS picks London fintech challenge winners

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Artificial intelligence, cryptography and biometrics were the winning technologies at the London-region final of UBS’s Future of Finance Challenge, a start-up competition aimed at helping the bank source innovative fintech solutions.

The regional final held in Canary Wharf-based accelerator space Level 39 on Friday saw 15 start-ups pitch their products to a judging panel of senior UBS executives, from both the investment bank and its wealth management division.

The judges selected three companies who will now proceed to the global final to be held in Zurich.

Here are the winners of the regional final:

• Aesthetic Integration: The London-based company has developed a system that applies formal verification, a fast-growing technology trend, to test the behaviour of algorithms used in financial markets. The technology could be used by trading firms to test their algorithms, but also by regulators and brokers to determine whether trading venues could behave unfairly.

• AimBrain: A London-based start-up that has developed technology that uses behavioural biomentrics to authenticate users. The system, for example, tracks how users swipe a screen to identify them.

Cryptosense: The Paris-based startup has developed a system that uses machine learning, formal analysis and cryptanalysis to find and fix security flaws in cryptographic systems.

Launched in August, the global competition is designed to help the bank identify technology to assist in dealing with some of the key challenges it faces: providing better customer experience, improving their product offering, strengthening security and increasing efficiency.

Fintech start-up competitions sponsored by banks have become frequent in recent years, but most tend to focus on retail banking applications, such as payments apps and mobile banking. UBS’s was designed to attract more capital markets and wealth management start-ups.

Christopher Murphy, global co-head for FX, rates and credit at UBS, one of the judges on the panel, said the challenge was an efficient way to source technology applicable to his business.

He said:”The challenge we have is bandwith. There is so much market structure and regulatory change happening that it is really hard to have time to develop everything internally. This an efficient way of doing things.”

He pointed to distributed ledger systems, such as blockchain, and the use of data to manage conduct as some of the technologies he was most interested in.

Other UBS executives on the judging panel included Hishaam Caramanli, global head of securities eCommerce, Christopher Purves, global head of FRC Macro Flow, and David Bruno, head innovation and digital for UBS Wealth Management.

Winning start-ups will receive around $300,000 worth of cash prizes as well as mentoring from UBS executives and the opportunity to test-drive their technology with the bank.

Source : http://thetally.efinancialnews.com/2015/11/ubs-picks-winners-london-fintech-challenge/

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