Since co-founding QuantCube Technology in 2013, Ghizlaine Amrani has helped drive the company’s strategy and growth. Her background in psychotherapy and the knowledge she’s gained in AI & data analytics, has helped her to set up and grow a diverse and inclusive team of more than 80 highly skilled people.

Headquartered in Paris, QuantCube today employs an international team of economists, quant analysts and data scientists with expertise in multilingual NLP, deep learning and machine learning techniques. The business analyses billions of alternative data points in real time, using artificial intelligence and big data analytics to deliver insights to our customers ahead of the market – giving users an edge in their investment strategies.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

No, my career path was not pre-planned. I’ve always been driven by what I’m interested in. I started off studying psychotherapy. This might seem an unusual route into fintech, but I use my psychology skills every day as I work to grow the business, negotiate partnerships and build the team. In addition, I’ve always been interested in financial markets, so I also studied for a Master’s degree in corporate finance and later undertook a Master’s in management.

Initially I worked in the luxury goods sector. This included a role for Cartier where I learnt a huge amount about using social media and big data analytics to derive marketing insights. This sparked my curiosity about the possibility of drawing scientific insights from alternative data. At the same time my partner, Thanh-Long Huynh, was focused on developing quantitative investment strategies using financial market data. Combining our interests we founded QuantCube with the objective of applying AI analytics to alternative data in order to deliver new insights to investors.

What challenges have you faced in your career? 

As you might imagine: launching a start-up, building a team and bringing a set of products to market that appeal to clients has presented a range of challenges; but it’s also been hugely rewarding. At the outset, people were sceptical about our ideas, as nobody at that time was using alternative datasets and AI in the way we envisioned. But we persisted, paving the way in this kind of alternative data monitoring.

What’s the major factor in your achieving success?

Ensuring the technology and techniques you use are continually evolving is critical to success, together with an appetite to keep learning and pushing the boundaries. At QuantCube we have partnerships with the most highly innovative labs and R&D consortiums, those at the forefront in using sophisticated technologies like natural language processing and computer vision. Even if there’s no immediate use case today, it’s essential to be aware of the latest innovations in case they can be used in the future.

What has been your biggest achievement?

Founding and growing QuantCube. I attribute a lot of our success to the diverse team we have built which today comprises 23 different nationalities speaking 18 different languages and a data science team that is 40% female.

At QuantCube, we believe that gender, ethnic and socio-economic diversity – and a good understanding of different cultures – helps to create products and services that cater to the needs of more diverse audiences and deliver real value. This is even more important in the area of AI and data analytics given there is a risk of bias if models are developed by a narrower group of individuals.

How do we accelerate the pace of change for gender?

Diversity starts at the top. I think organisations that have women in senior leadership roles can inspire other women to join. Over coming years I’d like to see more women on boards and occupying C-suite positions – particularly in industries like tech and financial services where women have historically been under-represented. Having more role models as well as actively promoting science and technology as a career path for women will pay dividends in the long term.

How do you feel about mentoring?

Mentoring is very important to me. Spending 30 minutes a week having one-to-one sessions with team members is a great investment of time. Taking the time to share my knowledge and experience helps build confidence in the team and empowers them to take a more active role in the decision-making process and in becoming pillars of the company.

What advice would you give to your younger self? 

My advice would be not to change anything, even any mistakes I’ve made. Experimenting and making mistakes is part of the learning process and it’s led me to where I am today.

What are you hoping to achieve in the future? 

I’d like to continue growing the company and for QuantCube to become the standard point of reference for macroeconomic, sector, corporate and environmental intelligence. By delivering timely, comprehensive and actionable economic insights our goal is to empower users within financial institutions, corporates and public bodies to reach their financial performance and sustainability goals.