AFTAs 2023: Most innovative third-party technology vendor (AI & machine learning)—GeoQuant

Innovation at GeoQuant

At GeoQuant, part of BMI Research, a Fitch Solutions company, innovation is woven into every aspect of the business. The firm uses advances in political and computer science to create high-frequency, systematic country risk data and analytics, quantifying more than 40 political risks across 127 countries. It fuses structural industry data with media to quantify political risk on a real‐time basis using natural language processing, machine learning algorithms, and a team of PhD‐trained political scientists.

Our clients are increasingly seeking hard data, indicators and prediction models for these kinds of events, and through collaborating with GeoQuant we are able to bring quantitative rigor to an area that has historically been more challenging for investors to decipher and forecast.”
Will Kinlaw, head of research, State Street Global Markets

Driving innovation  

GeoQuant embraces Fitch Solutions’ values of entrepreneurship and innovation. Prior to its acquisition in 2022, GeoQuant was initially invested in by Fitch Ventures, the equity investment arm of Fitch Group. Fitch Ventures continues to support business initiatives across Fitch, providing management with access to potential partnership opportunities that can help accelerate their commercial growth, while keeping current on the fast-changing technology trends in financial services.

Recent examples of innovation 

  • World governance indicator proxy: Building on the established correlation between World Bank Governance Indicators and GeoQuant data, GeoQuant developed a nowcast proxy providing real-time tracking of governance issues. 
  • Scenario planning: GeoQuant introduced a data-driven approach to scenario analysis using high-frequency indicators to model traditionally hard-to-assess politically driven tail risks.
  • State Street partnership: GeoQuant partnered with State Street to begin offering political risk indices tailored to foreign exchange markets. 

Future innovation

Since GeoQuant’s acquisition, BMI has leveraged the firm’s AI and machine learning technologies to provide clients with more precise predictions. BMI continues to implement GeoQuant’s technology, enhancing its expertise in predicting risks and identifying opportunities for clients across 200 markets and over 20 industries. As part of the partnership with State Street, GeoQuant is working to develop a new indicator designed to capture geopolitical risk most correlated to financial markets.

GeoQuant has employed AI to advance political risk analysis from qualitative to data-driven. Our proprietary fusion of political and computer science enables clients to back-test and then integrate our data to navigate the complexity between geopolitical and market risks, measuring and forecasting that relationship explicitly for the first time.”
Dan Tawfik, co-head, GeoQuant

Why they won

GeoQuant walks away from this year’s AFTAs with the award for the most innovative third-party technology vendor (AI & machine learning), thanks to its ability to commingle structured industry data with various media in the public domain, and in so doing provide institutional investors with accurate, reliable, and transparent country risk data and analytics. Clearly, innovation is at the heart of all that GeoQuant does, from its use of natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to its team of political scientists, providing clients with reliable risk data scores derived from 40 political risks across 127 countries. Expect to hear a lot from GeoQuant in the months and years ahead as it capitalizes on Fitch Solutions’ place in the industry as one of premier providers of data, analytics, and insights to firms on both sides of the industry.


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