Northern Trust automates data extraction from investment documents in partnership with Microsoft Azure

Solution leverages Microsoft Azure Applied AI Services to extract unstructured data for actionable insights as part of its efforts to digitise alternative asset servicing. 

By Richard Schwartz

Northern Trust has launched an AI-powered solution in collaboration with Microsoft Azure Applied AI Services to extract unstructured data and make it accessible to investors.  

As part of its initiative to digitise alternative asset servicing, Northern Trust has brought the proprietary solution to clients to transform crucial information such as capital call notices, cash and stock distribution notices, and capital account statements from a variety of unstructured formats to provide digital, actionable insights for investment teams. 

“The integration of unstructured data on alternative assets will fill a crucial missing piece for asset owners who have long sought an accurate view of performance, liquidity and risk analytics across multi-asset portfolios,” said Pete Cherecwich, president, corporate and institutional services, Northern Trust. “Our investments in cloud technology, artificial intelligence, blockchain and machine learning will help asset owners achieve a true understanding of their assets and portfolios as a whole.” 

The solution will read stored documents and fund manager reports on holdings and performance of hedge funds, private equity and other alternative assets and pull out data points including asset names, currencies and market value.

Northern Trust said data extraction and integration is the second stage of its digitisation process that will help asset owners access more current, robust information regarding their alternative assets – highly manual investments which traditionally only report on a monthly or quarterly basis.

This follows the release of a custom-built robotic process automation solution to capture, categorise and store alternative asset documents on a cloud-based drive.

“AI and natural language processing offer a profound impact on business processes across industries, and this use case is a stellar example of their potential for alternative asset administration,” said Bharat Sandhu, senior director, Azure AI and Machine Learning at Microsoft. “We’re proud to collaborate with Northern Trust to make these emerging technologies more accessible.”