Embracing innovation and AI in fund management

Through its focus on innovation and an AI-optimised digital experience, KBC Asset Management not only stays one step ahead of the competition but strives to be the reference point for the sector at large


Spanning Belgium, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, KBC is a banking and insurance group with some 42,000 employees and 12 million clients. We offer a wide range of products and services such as investment funds and discretionary management for all types of clients: retail, private banking, and wealth clients, and we aim to cater for the varying needs of all. At the core of our day-to-day motivation lies our motto: ‘Everyone invested all the time.’

KBC Asset Management acts as the group’s investment arm, working with 2.8 million retail and institutional investors, developing products for intra-group distribution and providing investment fund sales and advisory support.

Digital first with a human touch
We believe that investing is a healthy financial habit for everyone, and innovation allows us to keep clients feeling comfortable when investing and so keep them invested. We do this in a personalised yet efficient way – we are also embracing AI, which helps us to change the way we interact with our clients in all market segments. Our Solution Development team takes solutions from idea to launch and initiates changes and challenges to existing solutions to make sure they match our clients’ needs at all times. A talented team works together to ensure proper asset allocation in managed funds and portfolios. The Solution Support team offers clients direct investor support, providing personal, relevant, and up-to-date information, training, and after sales services, and it does this by putting digital channels first.

Making investing a healthy habit
We take every opportunity to introduce innovative solutions to fit our clients’ needs. Over the last 10 years, KBC Mobile – our award-winning mobile banking app – has evolved into an all-in-one platform that is now the gold standard. Our virtual assistant, ‘Kate,’ has been the logical next step in the digital client experience, helping clients navigate investment options on digital channels, where over half of KBC’s investment plans are now sold.

AI models help in stock picking and optimising fund portfolios

We also added a ‘turbo’ feature on our digital service: investing with your spare change. The principle is simple; each time a client pays with their debit card, KBC rounds up the amount to the nearest Euro and automatically invests it. The client invests their spare change and gains investment experience with no effort whatsoever. The ‘turbo’ can be accelerated by a factor of two or three, enabling the customer to put even more aside if they wish. They can also activate or deactivate the ‘turbo’ at any time in KBC Mobile.

Investment innovation
We have broadened our digital offer both for first time investors and customers who want to respond to the challenges of today and tomorrow. Customers can invest in themes close to their heart via thematic investing in KBC Mobile, either periodically or as a lump sum.

This is done without any human assistance via personal portfolio advice by ‘Kate’ to keep clients feeling comfortable when investing. Our smart advisory engine, based on AI, screens portfolios held by private and wealth clients on a daily basis. It performs a detailed analysis of each portfolio based on different risk and return factors and proactively formulates personalised advice. It is an E2E process that also takes into account clients’ personal investment preferences.

By embracing AI in fund management, KBC can respond faster to market developments. AI models help in stock picking and optimising fund portfolios. This enables us to respond to market developments faster and more efficiently for our clients. Two of our funds are even managed by AI; a balanced fund whose asset allocation and asset classes are determined with the help of AI-controlled models, and an equity fund whose stock picking is done by AI.

Responsible investing for 31 years
Since our first launch in 1992, KBC has systematically strengthened its policy, considering society’s constantly changing expectations and growing insights. Credibility is a core value for us; therefore this is monitored by the Responsible Investing Advisory Board, which is completely independent of KBC and consists of leading academics from several universities.

We work hard every day to get – and keep – everyone invested by providing tools and products that make investing easy, personal, valuable, and reliable. Using the power of data, our key focuses are innovation and employee and client satisfaction. By focusing on digitisation and creating value for our customers in a sustainable way, investing truly is becoming accessible for everyone.