Tetrao: FinTech AI breakthrough
Meet-up with Christian Gillot, Fondeur of Tetrao
Written by Stephen Evans
Can you be sure that the data your business sends to international clients and regulators
in different formats is consistent? In the financial sector this information influences
investment decisions, and typos can result in substantial losses.
Tetrao’s artificial intelligence (AI) tools spot these mistakes, and much more.
Prospectuses, key investor information documents, promotional material, regulatory filings,
data on electronic information systems and more; the amount of information Luxembourg’s
investment funds industry has to publish is mind boggling. Asset management firms need
to ensure this multitude of data is accurate to keep onside with regulators and to be fair to
Relevant to Luxembourg
This is particularly important in Luxembourg: the world’s second largest fund domicile.
Much of the work carried out here is about ensuring regulatory compliance and distributing
funds to clients across the world. This requires accuracy in dealings with many players in
different countries and languages.
Still today, much of the vital checking process is performed manually, with people scrutinising electronic documents, spreadsheets and databases, and typing results into spreadsheets. Not only is this a long-winded, laborious process, it is prone to human error.
With the inevitable mistakes comes the risk of fines, loss of reputation, and law suits for
punitive damages if investors make losses based on these errors.
Tetrao helps by collecting and analysing data automatically from multiple formats. Using
robotic cognitive automation techniques, the tool can be trained to locate documents
online and in databases, with the artificial intelligence driven algorithms “reading” the text
and presenting key words and figures in a report. The system can run continually,
checking that new mistakes don’t arise. This data must then be analysed and checked by
a trained administrator.
“Neither artificial nor human intelligence can ever be 100% accurate, but AI can reduce a lot of time-wasting scrolling and searching,”
commented Christian Gillot, Tetrao’s CEO and founder. For example, each fund is required by law to publish a detailed prospectus of dense text and a host of detailed figures. These publications can run to many hundreds of pages, and all are laid out in different ways. Tetrao can scan, sort and analyse publications such as this in moments, and highlight a handful of locations where the relevant information might be located in the document. Thus a task which might take many minutes can be handled in seconds.
However, when Christian had the idea behind this technology back in 2013 he had little
idea that it could be put to this specific use. At the time he was an IT developer working for
an e-commerce firm, seeking a way to better understand how the company used data
online. He had a brainwave, but these ideas weren’t taken up at work, so he decided to
run some tests in his spare time. He wrote several algorithms and saw the wider potential
for collecting, classifying and analysing all manner of data in many business contexts.
As he was working in Luxembourg it wasn’t long before he had conversations with people
in the financial sector, and he came to see how his innovations could have practical uses
in this industry. He founded Tetrao in 2014 and started writing code full time. Importantly,
he struck up a working relationship with the bank BGL BNP Paribas and their fund
services colleagues at BNP Paribas Securities Services. They helped Christian focus his
efforts, so that when the firm began its commercial phase in 2017 Tetrao offered three
clearly distinct products, mainly geared to the financial services industry. Tetrao Fundi to
bring sense to fund documentation, Tetrao Advento which eases lengthy “know your
customer” procedures when on-boarding new clients, and Tetrao Investigatio, an AI-
assisted private search engine.
Growth and recognition
Tetrao Fundi has gained the most interest, and is now being used by 12 locally-based
asset management firms, just a few months after the end of the test phase. Clients use
standard services, and Tetrao can also customise the tool to meet individual needs. This
technology has also gained international recognition. Tetrao BNP Paribas International
Hackathon in December 2017, beating 160 other FinTechs from 10 different countries.
They have also been ranked as one of the 10 Most Promising Fintechs in Europe on the
Hot10 List, established by the Fintech50 2018 Power List.
“Growth is spectacular, and we are now following 31,500 investment funds, and this is growing by 2000 per week,”
The next step is to grow and consolidate in the Grand Duchy before going international, with Paris, Ireland, London, Frankfurt, New York, Boston, Singapore and more it their sights.
The firm currently has 12 staff, six in Luxembourg with the others just outside Barcelona
and Bras-sur-Meuse, Lorraine. Most of the work is focused on development and “training”
the AI, with Christian currently taking care of the commercial side.
Realising the potential
“Being part of the BGL BNP Paribas family has been hugely important for us, both in terms of the advice they have given us, and the space to grow here at the Lux Future Lab,”
Being able to work with teams to hear about their problems and how they
could be helped on a practical level has been a major boost.
And they have only just got started. There are a wide range of potential applications for
“The ultimate goal is to bring artificial intelligence where it has never gone before,”