IBM closes acquisition of financial consulting firm Promontory

02 December 2016 2 min. read
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IBM has closed the acquisition of Promontory Financial Group, whose specialists will be tasked with training the firm’s Watson cognitive computer system to automate – in so far as it is possible – the task of meeting regulatory requirements in the financial services industry.

Promontory Financial Group (Promontory) provides financial services advice, particularly related to strategy, risk management, and compliance consulting. The firm, established in 2001, supports both private and public sector clients deal with, and meet, the standard of often complex and changing regulatory requirements. Led by founder and CEO, Eugene Ludwig, the firm has grown its footprint to 19 offices across the globe.

The acquisition of Promontory by IBM is focused on securing key regulatory expertise to address pressing issues related to ensuring the integrity of the financial system, protect consumers and build trust through transparency.

IBM acquires Promontory Financial Group

With the move, the technology giant wants to tap into the surging market for complex financial regulation following the financial crisis. In recent years, Promontory has advised many of Wall Street’s largest banks through the annual stress tests, including Citigroup, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley.

IBM will also leverage Promontory's capacities to train its cognitive computing system – Watson. “Promontory’s professionals will train Watson, which will learn by continuously ingesting regulatory information as it is created and through interaction in real-world applications,” the firm revealed in a press release. 

The firm’s statement continues, “The acquisition complements IBM’s Industry Platforms business, formed to develop open vertical platforms – the first comprehensive ‘as a service’ offerings designed from the ground up for individual industries. These platforms will integrate IBM Cloud, Watson and capabilities from across digital ecosystems of specialised providers, and serve multiple clients in an industry – delivering dramatically reduced costs for outcomes spanning speed, quality, audit-ability, security and transparency.”