One of Goldman Sachs' top quants quit to create an AI platform

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One of Goldman Sachs' top quants quit to create an AI platform

Erkko Etula had an impressive run at Goldman Sachs. After graduating from Harvard with a PhD in economics in 2009, he joined Goldman a year later, becoming a managing director (MD) in 2017 and running strategic and quantitative asset allocation research in the firm's investment strategy group. 

In May, however, Etula handed in his notice: he's leaving to become the co-founder of SkopeAI, a platform that aims to allow anyone to create their own AI-powered investment strategy.

Etula declined to comment for this article, but it's understood that the intention is to bring institutional grade artificial intelligence and quantitative investing technologies to retail investors so that they can benefit from, a 'personalized dynamic portfolio with automated trading, rebalancing and tax loss harvesting.' The self-serve AI investing platform, which is due to launch in the fall, is thought to be the first of its type, and is intended to enable investors to move away from non-customized ETFs and mutual funds into personalized products similar to those currently only offered to ultra-high net worth clients and institutions. 

Etula appears to be in a fine position to facilitate this. At Goldman, he designed quant investment strategies for clients' assets and led the design of a factor-based approach to strategic asset allocation that's used to allocate hundreds of billions of client assets for the consumer and wealth division. 

Etula is founding SkopeAI with John Nay, a computer scientist and specialist in natural linguistic processing who previously founded Brooklyn-based Skopos Labs, a machine learning start-up that began by analyzing government policymaking but now seems to focus on investment forecasts instead.

Etula's gardening leave at GS ended last week. He's expected to hire at SkopeAI; the company already employs at least 14 people, most of whom are former employees of Skopos Labs, and is looking to hire more.

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Photo by Joakim Honkasalo on Unsplash


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