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Rise of the robots

Morgan Stanley is leveraging artificial intelligence to generate customised emails for its 16,000 financial advisers to send to clients when the markets go berserk, the bank’s co-head of wealth management Andy Saperstein said on Tuesday at a financials conference.

The technology is intended to take over rote tasks for financial advisers and free them up to focus on more sophisticated client needs – not to replace flesh and blood advisers, bank executives have said.

What’s striking, however, is that the robots will add their own personal touch to the financial advisers’ emails. Gleaning information from a client’s social media and other public sources, emails would also be tailored to include personal details to make them appear more human-like.

Citi spending billions on technology

Citigroup is spending around $US8 billion to bolster its technology capabilities in 2018.

About 20% of the bank’s expense budget is now dedicated to technology spend, CEO Michael Corbat said Wednesday at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference.

The bank hasn’t previously announced the percentage of expenses put toward technology,

Hedge fund managers bringing home billions

Institutional Investor is out with its list of top-earning hedge fund managers for 2017 and the numbers are eyepopping.

The top 25 hedge fund managers earned a combined $US15.4 billion, up 40% from 2016. Not surprisingly, hedge funds in 2017 generated their best average performance over the past several years which led to higher payouts for big managers.

See who topped the list here.

The investment bank quietly dominating the booming marijuana industry

Canaccord Genuity, a mid-sized Canadian investment bank that’s been around since 1950, is quietly dominating the emerging marijuana sector.

Since 2016, Canaccord has outpaced the competition in both advising and underwriting cannabis companies, acting as the sole or joint bookrunner on more than $US1.5 billion of financings and advising on more than 50 transactions, according to the firm.

Here’s our story.

Salesforce execs rely on Zen Buddhism teachings for big strategy decisions

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff may have an affinity for Hawaiian culture, but it’s a Japanese phrase which holds the most weight when it comes to making big decisions at the $US93 billion tech company.

That phrase is shoshin, Japanese for a “beginner’s mind,” and a tenet of Zen Buddhism. Shoshin refers to an attitude of open-mindedness and endless possibility which many people have when they first start a project or learn something new.

More here.

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