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Cognicor CEO and co-founder Sindhu Joseph
Cognicor CEO and co-founder Sindhu Joseph

CogniCor Inks Deal With Charles Schwab

$10B AUM Sequoia Financial Group will be the first RIA to use CogniCor's AI-enhanced workflow automation tools.

CogniCor, developer of an artificial intelligence-powered business automation platform, announced it is now available to RIAs working with Charles Schwab. Sequoia Financial Group, in Akron, Ohio, is the first Schwab affiliate to use CogniCor's service.

Venture-funded, female-founded and backed by Morgan Stanley, CogniCor, which has headquarters in California and India, focuses on using artificial intelligence to help financial service firms grow.

Central to the CogniCor service model is CIRA, a platform for designing and managing AI-powered digital assistants that can shepherd clients (and advisors) through the processes of lead generation through on-boarding, product selection, account management, customer support and IT issues, and accessing financial or professional education resources. The technology was developed by CEO and founder Sindhu Joseph, a research scientist with a PhD in artificial intelligence who holds six US patents, several of which involve extracting and organizing intelligent information from various sources.

CIRA collects information from documents and portals while combining inductive and deductive reasoning to provide context for human-like responses to complex questions. It employs knowledge graphs (conceptual maps that group together specific contextual and background information) to establish a knowledge base providing expedited interpretation of user intent and solutions tailored to specific needs.

"AI-enabled digital assistants are uniquely positioned to alleviate the issues born of significant M&A growth within this industry,” Joseph said in a statement. “Our relationship with Schwab addresses the significant demand for these solutions from the nation's leading RIAs."

RIAs affiliated with Charles Schwab will have access to CogniCor's suite of AI-enabled digital assistants and learning platforms. Once an RIA establishes a direct agreement with the company, CogniCor's digital assistant will facilitate deployment for advisors from processing through custody. The firm can then integrate these solutions into daily operations, continually improving on them to increase efficiency and automate many back-office functions.

Sequoia—one of Schwab's largest RIA affiliates, with around $10 billion in client assets—is working with CogniCor to test its latest AI-enabled solution at scale, according to the announcement. The Meeting Assistant works with advisors and Sequoia’s Salesforce-based CRM to automate the pre- and post-meeting paperwork, create dynamic agendas and help track life events and milestones for clients in real time. 

"As we looked to improve our advisors' efficiency without any impact to the client experience, we identified the administrative processes around the client advisor meeting as an area ripe for improvement," said Sequoia CTO Trevor Chuna. "Working closely with CogniCor, we selected several areas in which we believe this technology can reduce the time spent on repetitive administrative activities. We are extremely pleased to roll these seamlessly integrated tools out to our advisors in the coming months." 

“Currently, advisors and employees are forced to spend around 40% of their time executing routine, manual tasks,” said Joseph. “This time should be devoted to serving clients and performing other value-generative activities. By providing its affiliated RIAs access to our business automation and learning platforms, Schwab can fuel further growth opportunities for its customers." 

"We look forward to our partnership with Sequoia as we address this particular opportunity and provide their advisors a completely integrated, AI-enabled solution that can help them focus on what matters most,” she said, “the relationships with clients.”

Currently supported CIRA integrations include: Salesforce, SharePoint, Skype, Adobe, Genesys, LiveChat, Twilio, ServiceNow and Pershing’s NetX360.

CogniCor was recently named a 2022 Industry Awards finalist in the business support systems/workflow automation category.

Editor's Note: Due to inaccurate information provided by CogniCor's media relations team, an earlier version of this story mischaracterized the relationship between the firm and Charles Schwab. CogniCor is a listed service on the platform. 

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