Generative AI is here to stay. As private equity firms try to figure out how to use the emerging technology, one firm shared its plans with PE Hub.
Hamilton Lane in June announced a joint venture with TIFIN, a VC-backed fintech startup that develops software aimed at investors. Hamilton Lane is an investor in TIFIN.
The two are teaming up to develop an AI-powered “assistant” for investors that will blend the firm’s private markets data and intelligence with the software company’s technology.
PE Hub spoke with Griff Norville, a managing director and the head of technology solutions at Hamilton Lane, a Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based alternative investment management and advisory firm. Norville outlined how the upcoming product will work and what it is expected to provide for clients.
The product, which has not yet been named, is still in development. It functions as a chatbot, with customers asking it questions. Customers will be able to interact with the chatbot about three areas: portfolio construction, investment selection and education.
The new product will be integrated into Hamilton Lane’s software for its wealth management customers.
“It’s seamless for them, because they don’t have to log in to anything new,” Norville said. “Now, they’ve got a chat interface where they can use natural language questions to ask for information.”
Demystifying the asset class
Hamilton Lane has a significant amount of information about various markets and sectors. The firm’s database comes from seeing 1,400 GPs annually, according to Norville.
“We’ve got white papers and reference texts on how to think about the private markets, definitional categorization, certain types of investment strategies, strengths and weaknesses,” Norville said. “All of that will be accessible by clients.”
Norville thinks the assistant could have a significant impact on investors looking to get into the private markets.
“It demystifies the asset class for them,” he said. “One of the biggest problems is that, as a private wealth investor, you just don’t have access to the same models and data as those big institutions that have been in the markets for a long time.”
The venture is a part of TIFIN.AI, the software developer’s initiative to build AI assistants for financial services. Hamilton Lane backed TIFIN in a $47 million Series C funding in 2021.
Generative AI has become a larger discussion in private markets, as firms examine if it can help speed up the process of deal sourcing.
“I don’t think it’s going to completely replace anything that we’re doing now,” Norville said. “It’s going to allow us to spend more time on second-level investment thinking and less on the groundwork, and it’s going to allow us to get more out of ourselves, our time, our people, and expand and find new opportunities.”