Background

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI & ML) and Sentiment Analysis are said to “predict the future through analysing the past” – the Holy Grail of the finance sector. They can replicate cognitive decisions made by humans yet avoid the behavioural biases inherent in humans.

Processing news data and social media data and classifying (market) sentiment and how it impacts Financial Markets is a growing area of research. The field has recently progressed further with many new “alternative” data sources, such as email receipts, credit/debit card transactions, weather, geo-location, satellite data, Twitter, Micro-blogs and search engine results. AI & ML are gaining adoption in the financial services industry especially in the context of compliance, investment decisions and risk management.

This is a sophisticated conference that not only interrogates and explores the implications of AI & ML in the financial services industry but also goes on to identify the investment opportunities of sharing knowledge and exploiting IP in the finance domain.

Attend this event and earn GARP/CPD credit hours.

UNICOM has registered this program with GARP for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits. Attending this program qualifies for 14 credit hours. If you are a Certified ERP® or FRM®, please record this activity in your Credit Tracker.

  • Learn how you can benefit from the unprecedented progress in technological advances for yourself and your company
  • Find out about the impact of Quantum Computing and Alternative Data
  • Benefit from the experience of world class presenters from the UK, US, Europe and India/Hong Kong
  • Gain exclusive insights into pioneering projects in AI, Machine Learning & Sentiment Analysis in Finance
  • Programme includes the latest state-of-the-art research, practical applications and case studies
  • Enjoy excellent networking opportunities throughout the days with all participants, including presenters, investors and exhibitors.

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Call for Participation

We are inviting speakers – thought leaders, subject experts and start up entrepreneurs – to share their knowledge and enthusiasm about their work and their vision in the field of AI, Machine Learning, Sentiment Analysis.

Please complete the speaker’s response form and submit a proposal to present at this event.

Code of Conduct & Diversity

UNICOM’s Code of Conduct & Views on Diversity

We at UNICOM strive to be a leading provider of knowledge to the business community and to engage the global business community as a specialised provider of knowledge. We strive to do this maintaining a culture of co-operation, commitment and trust. We want every UNICOM conference and training day to be a safe and productive environment for everyone – a place to share research and innovation and to build professional networks. To that end, we will enforce a code of conduct throughout all our events. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.

Our approach is that our events are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity or religion. We do not tolerate intimidation, stalking, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of sessions or events, and unwelcome physical contact or sexual attention. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, Twitter and other online media. Event participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event without a refund at the discretion of the conference organisers. Please bring your concerns to the immediate attention of the event staff.

Diversity: In our endeavour to be the provider of knowledge to the business community, we understand that this depends on hearing from and listening to a variety of perspectives that come from people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions, sexual orientation, and military service. We welcome diverse speakers for all our events, we do not always fully achieve this goal, but it is an ongoing process.

Programme

  • 08:45 -

    Morning Chair: Gautam Mitra, CEO, OptiRisk Systems & Visiting Professor, UCL

    Speakers:

    Gautam Mitra

  • 09:00 -

    Advances in Factor Investing

    Katharina Schwaiger, Investment Researcher, BlackRock

    Factor investing is an investment approach that involves targeting specific drivers of return across asset classes. There are two main types of factors: macroeconomic and style. Investing in factors can help improve portfolio outcomes, reduce volatility and enhance diversification. Factors has the transformative ability to change the way that we efficiently invest, deliberately manage risk and holistically build portfolios.

    Speakers:

    Katharina Schwaiger

  • 09:30 -

    The Knowing-Doing Gap in Behavioral Finance

    Markus Schuller, Founder & Managing Partner, Panthera Solutions

    Investment management, is it discretionary or systematic, can benefit from insights gained in behavioral finance. Markus will highlight why professional investors tend to talk more about behavioral finance in investment management than actually make use of its practical takeaways in favor of more rational decision making.

    • Why more talk than walk?
    • What are the benefits of applying Behavioral Finance insights?
    • How to overcome the knowing-doing gap?

    Speakers:

    Markus Schuller

  • 10:00 -

    Social Listening and Financial Crowd Intelligence

    Lucas Bruggeman, Partner, Sentifi

    On a single day, humans across the globe produce 500 million tweets, 4 million blogs and 2 million online news.

    That's why in the age of big data, the real challenge is to make sense of it by filtering out the noise and finding relevant signals. In this session, we show you how we extract actionable insights and how these help you to stay ahead of the curve.

    Speakers:

    Lucas Bruggeman

  • 10:40 -

    Introduction of Sponsors

  • 10:45 -

    Coffee Break

  • 11:15 -

    Rapid Conditioning of Risk Estimates using Quantified News Flow

    Chris Kantos, Senior Equity Risk Analyst, Northfield

    In December of 2017 Northfield introduced the first commercially available factor risk models that incorporates computerized analysis of news text directly into volatility risk forecasts for individual stocks, corporate bonds, industry groups and ETFs based on market indices. Market events in early 2018 provided several excellent examples of why we believe that Risk Systems That Read® is the most significant innovation in factor risk models in more than three decades. We will illustrate show how recent news events drove financial market outcomes for Wynn Resorts, Wynn Macau, Facebook and Wanda Hotels (HK). Each day the content of thousands of news articles are now part of the input for the full range of models available from Northfield. The line of research that led to this innovation stretches back to 1997, and includes five published papers by Northfield staff [diBartolomeo and Warrick (2005), diBartolomeo, Mitra, Mitra (2009), diBartolomeo (2011,2013,2016)]. Beyond the obvious improvement in risk estimation, the method has important implications for alpha generation by both quant and traditional for active managers.

    Speakers:

    Chris Kantos

  • 11:45 -

    Enhancing performance of mid to low Frequency Trade Portfolios

    Gautam Mitra, CEO, OptiRisk Systems & Visiting Professor, UCL

    ♦ Filtering asset universe
    ♦ RSI, NewsRSI (NRSI), DerivedRSI (DRSI)
    ♦ Results NIFTY 50, S&P 500
    ♦ Machine Learning (ML) to predict market movements (mini regimes)
    ♦ Feature Modelling
    ♦ Results NIFTY 50, S&P 500

    Speakers:

    Gautam Mitra

  • 12:15 -

    Panel: Alternative Data

    Moderator: Alexander Eisele, Analytics & Quant Modelling, UBS

    Panelists:

    Dan Joldzic, CEO, Alexandria

    Lucas Bruggeman, Partner, Sentifi

  • 12:45 -

    Lunch

  • Afternoon Chair: Ronald Hochreiter, Associate Professor for Finance, Webster Vienna Private University -

    Speakers:

    Ronald Hochreiter

  • 13:45 -

    Machine Learning for Visual Portfolio Risk Analysis

    Claus Huber, Portfolio Manager, Deka Investment

    A very valuable feature of the Self-Organising Map, a method of Machine Learning, is its visualisation capabilities. We show how the Self-Organising Map can be deployed to visualise the risk structure in a portfolio, in particular for assets for which no risk models exist. Some examples to this end are the visualisation of risk concentrations, identifying diversifiers and scenario analysis. Real-world applications are the selection of hedge fund managers or the analysis of a portfolio of Alternative Risk Premia.

    Speakers:

    Claus Huber

  • 14:15 -

    A Deep Learning Meta-model Approach to Compute Optimal Investment Strategies

    Ronald Hochreiter, Associate Professor for Finance, Webster Vienna Private University

    AI and Machine Learning methods can be used to generate investment decisions successfully. A clever combination of Data Science methods with methods from the field of Decision Science (Prescriptive Analytics) may lead to even more successful models. In this talk a general outline for such a successful methodological combination will be presented as well as a concrete novel Deep Learning investment model which is based on graphical TTR series representations instead of using time-series directly. It will be shown how important Feature Engineering for Deep Learning in Finance actually is.

    Speakers:

    Ronald Hochreiter

  • 14:45 -

    Going Native with Japanese News Analysis

    Dan Joldzic, CEO, Alexandria

    Local source, native publishers may offer an information advantage compared to publications in English. Translation services have typically been sub-optimal for character-based languages, but machine learning allows for classification in the native form, which can lead to significant alpha in forward periods.

    Speakers:

    Dan Joldzic

  • 15:15 -

    Tea Break

  • 15:45 -

    Enhanced Prediction of Sovereign Bond Spreads through Macroeconomic News Sentiment

    Christina Erlwein - Sayer, Professor of Statistics and Financial Mathematics, HTW Berlin & OptiRisk Systems

    Sovereign bond spreads are modelled taking into account macroeconomic news sentiment. We investigate sovereign bonds spreads of European countries and enhance the prediction of spread changes by including news sentiment. We conduct a correlation and rolling correlation analysis between sovereign bond spreads and accumulated sentiment series and analyse changing correlation patterns over time. These findings are utilised to monitor sovereign bonds, predict spread changes in an ARIMAX model and highlight changing risks. The results are integrated in the SENRISK tool, a DSS for Bond Risk Assessment.

    Speakers:

    Christina Erlwein-Sayer

  • 16:15 -

    News Sentiment and Multi-asset investing

    Alexander Eisele, Analytics & Quant Modelling, UBS

    Institutional multi-asset portfolios are often managed with significant constraints on turnover, tracking errors and the investable asset universe. Does news sentiment add any value to a portfolio when such constraints are taken into account? In this session we provide and discuss evidence suggesting that it does. Furthermore, we decompose news sentiment into different components to learn more about the drivers of its value-added.

    Speakers:

    Alexander Eisele

  • 16:45 -

    Correlation Influence Networks for Sentiment Analysis in European Sovereign Bonds

    Peter Schwendner, Professor, ZHAW School of Management and Law

    European sovereign bonds are especially sensitive to the political news flow. Consistent to the current sentiment, market makers adjust factor models in their quotation systems to be prepared for short-term market reactions in the most liquid instruments. We present a correlation influence network case study to make the signs of these factor betas transparent using intraday data analysis. This shows the sentiment of the most active market participants.

    Speakers:

    Peter Schwendner

  • 17:15 -

    Drinks Reception

  • Morning Chair: Enza Messina, Professor in Operations Research, University of Milano-Bicocca -

    Speakers:

    Enza Messina

  • 09:00 -

    The Rise and Rise of UPI

    Santanu Paul, CEO, TalentSprint

    If India is rapidly emerging as a world power in FinTech, full credit must be given to the digital payments revolution unleashed by the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). Designed and launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the volume of UPI transactions has exploded in the last one year, surpassing all expectations. What is fuelling the UPI revolution? Why are Banks and FinTechs adopting UPI at an unprecedented rate? What do consumers like so much about it? This presentation will provide a bird's eye view of the UPI growth machine.

    Speakers:

    Santanu Paul

  • 09:30 -

    Quantamental Factor Investing Using Alternative Data and Machine Learning

    Arun Verma, Quantitative Research Solutions, Bloomberg

    To gain an edge in the markets quantitative hedge fund managers require automated processing to quickly extract actionable information from unstructured and increasingly non-traditional sources of data. The nature of these "alternative data" sources presents challenges that are comfortably addressed through machine learning techniques. We illustrate use of AI and ML techniques that help extract derived signals that have significant alpha or risk premium and lead to profitable trading strategies.

    This session will cover the following topics:

    ♦ The broad application of machine learning in finance
    ♦ Extracting sentiment from textual data such as news stories and social media content using machine learning algorithms
    ♦ Construction of scoring models and factors from complex data sets such as supply chain graph, options (implied volatility skew, term structure), Geolocational datasets and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance)
    ♦ Robust portfolio construction using multi-factor models by blending in factors derived from alternative data with the traditional factors such as fama-french five-factor model.

    Speakers:

    Arun Verma

  • 10:00 -

    The application of deep learning to high dimensional models in finance

    Panos Parpas, Senior Lecturer, Imperial College

    – Reformulate deep learning as an optimisation problem
    – Discuss the importance of stability for robust solutions.
    – Illustrate the use of deep learning to solve high dimensional (more than 100 dimensions) nonlinear parabolic PDEs (Black&Scholes, Hamilton-Jacobi Belman)
    – Provide code and some examples for participants to experiment with.

    Speakers:

    Panos Parpas

  • 10:30 -

    Coffee Break

  • 11:00 -

    Modelling Intraday Risk and Flow Co-movement to Improve Trading Performance

    Giuliano De Rossi, Executive Director, Goldman Sachs & Andrea Petrides, Associate, Goldman Sachs

    Markets around the globe exhibit strong varying intraday characteristics. As a consequence, modelling the underlying intraday market dynamics is crucial in optimising trading execution. In this talk, we discuss the effect that modelling intraday flow co-movement and intraday risk have in creating optimal trade schedules, while also taking into consideration the individual stock’s market microstructure, providing useful insights. Our methodology relies on unsupervised learning techniques to identify the most important drivers of intraday market dynamics at stock level.

    Speakers:

    Andreas Petrides

    Giuliano De Rossi

  • 11:30 -

    From Nowcasting to Newscasting – Exploring the link between news sentiment, the economy and asset prices fluctuations

    Maurizio Luisi, Investment Research Solutions, AD-IRS

    Established nowcasting techniques generally use as inputs two types of economic data: directly quantifiable variables, mostly referred to as hard data, and survey-based measures of the economy, or soft data. In this presentation, we increase the dimensionality of the nowcasting input data set by introducing a third type of data: machine-readable news analytics based on textual analysis. We propose to exploit the quantitative information conveyed by machine-readable news, transforming these analytics into proxies for macro-driven sentiment values. To retain tractability and facilitate the interpretation of this novel type of data, we aggregate the high–dimensionality of this information set into an established taxonomy of economically identifiable sentiment proxies; through this, we are able to map them into the same categories in which we group hard and soft data. We concentrate on U.S. economy as the focus of our analysis. The wider objective here is to extract and incorporate additional information relevant for tracking current and future economic conditions, but also and foremost to provide an empirical method to shed light on the interaction between macro news-flow sentiment, the real economy and asset prices fluctuations.

    Speakers:

    Maurizio Luisi

  • -

    Women in FinTech Session

    Chair: Enza Messina, Professor in Operations Research, University of Milano-Bicocca

  • 12:00 -

    How AI, ML & Text Analysis of Alternative Data is Impacting Financial and Retail Markets

    Enza Messina, Professor in Operations Research, University of Milano-Bicocca

    We analyze how AI and Machine Learning and Sentiment Analysis of News and Micro-blogs are and impacting the two rapidly expanding markets, namely, Financial market and Retail market. We support our analysis by a few Use Cases for these markets.

    Speakers:

    Enza Messina

  • 12:20 -

    Social Trading - Developing Signals from Social Sentiment

    Dorothy Ruderman, Head of Data Partnerships, StockTwits

    StockTwits is the largest independent social network setup for investors and traders to talk about investing. In addition to covering 8,300 stocks per year, the network also discusses 1,500+ alternative assets, including FX, futures, fixed income, privative companies, ETFs/indexes, and cryptoassets. With a dataset that stretches back to 2009, the network becomes a rich dataset for both quantitative investing as well as model development. In this talk, we will discuss the methodology behind developing an NLP-based social signal, as well as some of the academic studies run in parallel with this research. We will also discuss some of the ways in which it is being deployed in markets today.

    Speakers:

    Dorothy Ruderman

  • 12:40 -

    Panel: Women in FinTech

    Moderator: Enza Messina, Professor in Operations Research, University of Milano-Bicocca

    Panelists:

    Dorothy Ruderman, Head of Data Partnerships, StockTwits

    Katharina Schwaiger, Investment Researcher, BlackRock

    Erica Stanford, CEO, Crypto Curry Club

    Monica Summerville, Director of FinTech Research, Tabb Group

  • 13:15 -

    Lunch

  • Afternoon Chair: Gautam Mitra, CEO, OptiRisk Systems -

    Speakers:

    Gautam Mitra

  • 14:15 -

    Keynote - Does News Sentiment add Alpha?

    Ernie Chan, Hedge Fund Manager, QTS Capital

    We will present results of the Kaggle Two Sigma News Analytics Competition. This competition provides both prices and Thomson-Reuters news sentiment data as input to predict the future returns of US stocks. We want to answer questions such as whether machine learning techniques truly outperform simple factor models, and whether news sentiment truly adds value. Our presentation will not only include our own research, but also highlights other high-performing competitors research as well.

    Speakers:

    Ernie Chan

  • 14:45 -

    Machine Learning for Financial Markets : three representative examples

    Charles - Albert Lehalle, Senior Research Advisor, Capital Fund Management & Visiting Researcher, Imperial College

    As a generic technology, machine learning has numerous secondary innovations in a lot of sectors. In this talk I will discuss the innovations emerging (or to appear) for financial markets. I will provide one example of online learning on trading flows (for real-time Dark Pools selection), another one of now casting (satellite images processing for crop quality prediction), and the last one will be on human-machine interface (decision support to monitor hundreds of algorithms). This last example is significant of one of the greatest challenge linked to the use of AI: when and how to give back the control to humans, so that then can really take an enlighten decision.

    Speakers:

    Charles-Albert Lehalle

  • 15:15 -

    Panel: Adoption of AI & ML in Finance

    Moderator: Monica Summerville, Director of FinTech Research, Tabb Group

    Panelists:

    - Arun Verma, Quantitative Research Solutions, Bloomberg

    - Francesco Cricchio, Executive Chairman, Brain

  • 15:45 -

    Tea Break

  • 16:00 -

    Machine Learning methods applied to Finance: Brain’s proprietary approaches for stock selection, clustering of funds and market scenarios.

    Francesco Cricchio, CEO, Brain & Matteo Campellone, Executive Chairman, Brain

    We present Brain proprietary solutions to some common financial problems using machine learning techniques.

    ♦ The BSR signal is a daily stock ranking based on a supervised machine learning model that uses an ensemble of features related to market regimes, stock fundamentals, prices and volumes, calendar anomalies. The model can be customized with the specific investable universe, the rebalancing frequency and the investment style.
    ♦ Clustering of Market Scenarios: we use unsupervised machine learning to identify which days in the past are similar to current day, according to variables corresponding to a certain topic, e.g. financial stress.
    ♦ Clustering of Funds: Brain developed a platform for monitoring mutual funds. The platform uses unsupervised machine learning techniques to aggregate funds that show a similar behaviour according to a combination of various metrics. Among other things this approach enable the user to detect if a fund behaves too differently from other funds that are supposed to display similar characteristics.

    Speakers:

    Francesco Cricchio

    Matteo Campellone

  • 16:30 -

    Currency and Forex Forecasting with Media Sentiment Data

    Anthony Luciani, Quantitative Researcher, MarketPysch

    In this talk Anthony Luciani describes how media analytics are providing new insights into the origins and topping process of asset price bubbles. Examples from price bubbles including the China Composite, cryptocurrencies, housing, and many others will be explored. Recent mathematical models of bubble price action will be augmented with sentiment analysis. Attendees will leave with new models for identifying and taking advantage of speculative manias and panics.

    Speakers:

    Anthony Luciani

  • 17:00 -

    Chairman closing remarks and close

Speakers

Lucas Bruggeman

Partner, Sentifi

Matteo Campellone

Executive Chairman, Brain

Ernie Chan

Hedge Fund Manager, QTS Capital

Francesco Cricchio

CEO, Brain

Giuliano De Rossi

Executive Director, Goldman Sachs

Alexander Eisele

Analytics & Quant Modelling, UBS

Christina Erlwein-Sayer

Professor of Statistics and Financial Mathematics, HTW Berlin

Gregory Gadzinski

Senior Consultant, Panthera Solutions

Claus Huber

Portfolio Manager, Deka Investment

Ronald Hochreiter

Associate Professor for Finance, Webster Vienna Private University

Dan Joldzic

CEO, Alexandria

Chris Kantos

Senior Equity Risk Analyst, Northfield

Charles-Albert Lehalle

Senior Research Advisor, Capital Fund Management & Visiting Researcher, Imperial College

Maurizio Luisi

Investment Research Solutions, AD-IRS

Enza Messina

Professor in Operations Research, University of Milano-Bicocca

Gautam Mitra

CEO, OptiRisk Systems

Panos Parpas

Senior Lecturer, Imperial College

Santanu Paul

CEO, TalentSprint

Anthony Luciani

Quantitative Researcher, MarketPysch

Andreas Petrides

Associate, Goldman Sachs

Dorothy Ruderman

Head of Data Partnerships, StockTwits

Markus Schuller

Founder & Managing Partner, Panthera Solutions

Katharina Schwaiger

Investment Researcher, BlackRock

Peter Schwendner

Professor, ZHAW School of Management and Law

Tharsis Souza

VP of Product Development, Yewno

Erica Stanford

CEO, Crypto Curry Club

Monica Summerville

Director of FinTech Research, Tabb Group

Arun Verma

Quantitative Research Solutions, Bloomberg

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