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Alternative Market Briefing

As AI advances, index products could get 'smarter'

Friday, September 01, 2017

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

As investors line up behind "rules-based" investment products like smart beta ETFs and systematic equities funds, many market participants have rushed to come out with products that lean heavily on machine learning and big data. Several quant shops have announced their plans to build proprietary data sets in order to mine them for trading ideas or a possible edge in the market. According to Matteo Andreetto, CEO of STOXX, a provider of index products, machine learning may also make indexes 'smarter'.

"I think we're in a new era of indexing," Andreetto tells Opalesque in an interview. "There are better companies in indexes now and the products themselves are more rigorous. Investors have more options about how they can use index products in their portfolios."

Andreetto joined STOXX in 2014 and spearheaded an expansion effort at the index provider. Under his leadership STOXX has added to its product suite of 100 indices that address ESG issues in portfolios. According to Andreetto, investors are increasingly looking for more options to screen for ESG factors and now that companies are responding with better disclosures, it is possible to use that data to create tailored indexes.

STOXX also opened offices in Australia and Hong Kong. With the new offices, STOXX, which was primarily a European index provider, will now be looking at ways to build a more global portfolio of products.

Andreetto also sees a possibility ......................

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