Abbie the Bond Bot Can Now Suggest Trades

AllianceBernstein Holding LP has upgraded its virtual assistant Abbie so she is now able to suggest the “best bonds to buy and sell based on pricing, ease-of-trading and risk.” This according to an article in Bloomberg.

“Unlike any human,” the article states, “she can scan millions of data points to filter the universe of outstanding bond in seconds and identify potential trades to portfolio managers using other electronic tools the firm has built.”

According to Jeff Skoglund, Alliance’s COO of fixed income, Abbie can identify bonds that humans might have overlooked as well as spot human error. He says, “Humans and machines will need to work closer than ever to find liquidity, trade faster and handle risks. Our hope is that we grow and use people in ways that are more efficient and better leverage their skills.”

When Abbie was first introduced about a year ago, the article reports, the robot could only create orders for bonds from precise demands. Skoglund says the upgraded version will target U.S. high-yield and investment-grade bonds, then expand to other markets, but stipulates that the firm will still rely on humans to make final decisions and execute trades.

“We expect to be faster to market and capture opportunities we otherwise would not have caught by using this system,” says Skoglund. “There’s a liquidity problem right now that could become significantly more challenging in a risk-off environment.”