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GFT appoints Craig Parfitt as Head of Strategy - Engineering for the Atlantic region, to grow Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive and Machine Learning capabilities globally

GFT, the leading provider of business, design and technology consulting to the financial services community, has appointed Craig Parfitt as Head of Innovation across the GFT Atlantic Region. This follows a stream of senior hires that support GFT’s strategy to provide clients with innovative solutions that drive efficiency and improved performance.

Craig will work closely with GFT’s current clients (investment banks, retail banks, and insurers) plus new organisations to identify areas where the application of AI can bring efficiencies and cost savings. In particular, AI may be able to cost effectively augment a smaller pool of resources under the new MiFID II regime, by providing additional automated research capabilities. In addition, as firms move towards a ‘cognitive banking’ approach, driven by the need for ‘open banking’ and compliance with new regulations such as PSD2, AI looks set to help banks make dramatic improvements in the analysis of enormous volumes of customer data.

Craig has held a number of executive engineering and advanced analytics roles, including at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young where he designed, developed and implemented the first commercial corporate media content ‘Recommendations Engine’ for a global media company. Prior to this, whilst at BAE Systems (Detica) he led the team that designed a prototype early detection system for border controls using artificial intelligence algorithms and predictive analytics. More recently, he served as the Head of Advanced Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and IoT at Accenture, and Head of Product, Partner Services and Data Platforms at Expedia Inc.

Outside of his role at GFT, Craig is an Advisory Board member for several start-ups: two are in the health sciences sector providing expert AI systems for the early diagnosis of disease, predicting time of death, and the classification of injuries. Additionally, he has been supporting two FinTech firms with their enterprise AI strategy and platform rebuilds.

Craig Parfitt, Head of Strategy - Engineering, Atlantic at GFT commented: “Artificial Intelligence has been a passion of mine since my graduate research in engineering and neuroscience. AI’s success will be judged by enterprise implementations that are founded upon best practice engineering principles – that is when we will truly realise the benefits. For GFT, having the support of our global CEO, Marika Lulay, is paramount to this vision. AI is certainly not new, but we’re at a stage now where it can be applied to use cases that bring immediate benefit; the key is to augment human experts and automate low complexity tasks. I am excited to be working with GFT’s clients to apply the power of AI to solve their unique challenges.”

Marika Lulay, CEO at GFT commented: “We are thrilled to have Craig on board. His wealth of experience with machine learning and AI technology will be such a valuable asset to GFT. There is no doubt that AI will become a core part of the financial enterprise in the near future, for some it is already, and it will simply become the way of doing certain tasks. What Craig brings to GFT is the knowledge as to how this technology can be applied to drive real business value for our clients and prospects. With banks and other financial organisations facing extreme capital requirements and rising regulatory costs, investment in new technology needs to bring tangible results – this is where Craig’s advice and counsel will be vital for supporting our clients through the next inevitable stage of technological advancement.”