IBM to acquire financial consulting firm Promontory to help train Watson

IBM has decided to acquire Promontory in order to train Watson regarding financial regulations.

In an attempt to improve its financial capabilities, IBM will acquire the Promontory Financial Group which will be integrated with its global business and will aid in training its Watson artificial intelligence (AI) platform. The company announced the acquisition on Thursday but it did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Promontory was founded by Eugene A. Ludwig who is a former top banking regulator and a friend of of former President Bill Clinton from law school. The Washington firm became one of the top financial terms following 2008's financial crisis. Promontory's current employees include many former financial regulators from across the globe and it has advised numerous banks on regulatory matters.

However, the firm has drawn a fair bit of scrutiny due to its close ties with banks. Last year, Promontory settled an investigation brought against it by New York State's financial regulator regarding its work with the British bank Standard Chartered.

IBM has laid out its future plans for the firm which will join the company's global offerings. Promonotory's 600 employees will be absorbed into IBM and will be utilised to help train Watson with the goal of assisting the company's financial clients manage their regulatory obligations.

Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president for IBM's industry platforms team commented: “What Watson is doing to transform oncology by working with the world's leading oncologists, we will now do for regulation, risk and compliance. This initial offering of Watson Financial Services is emblematic of the transformative cloud-based solutions that IBM Industry Platforms will bring to clients.

“We believe the future of business and regulation will be driven by the need for advanced technology alongside the subject-matter expertise.” 

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Anthony currently resides in South Korea where he teaches and experiences Korean technological advances first hand.