Manulife partners with Nervana Systems on artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies to enhance investment research

Toronto, ON (Aug. 2, 2016) – Manulife’s Lab of Forward Thinking (LOFT) is collaborating with Nervana Systems, a company that is building the next generation of intelligent applications. Manulife’s LOFT will use these applications to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning tool to analyze the high volume of online information, financial news, emails and documents that portfolio managers receive each day when researching investments.

“The complexity of the financial markets and vast amount of data generated make deep learning an ideal fit for financial services companies,” said Naveen Rao, CEO, Nervana Systems. “Nervana Cloud will help Manulife’s portfolio managers quickly organize, search and analyze new and historical financial data to make faster and more accurate investment decisions.”

Manulife’s LOFT is using deep learning to train a computer system so it can decipher natural language. By analyzing information, the computer then processes terms and words to infer meaning. It then has the capability to learn from that information, continuously improving itself. The Manulife LOFT project will utilize a deep learning-based natural language processing engine.

Using deep learning, Manulife will be able to analyze data and present recommendations that could help investment advisors and other professionals make informed decisions faster than ever before.

Manulife – and under its John Hancock brand in the United States – has established a global network of LOFTs in Boston, Toronto and Singapore. The Toronto LOFT located in the C-Suite (fintech cluster) at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto will be leading the project.

“This partnership with Nervana accelerates our development efforts and our understanding of this new technology,” said Greg Framke, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Manulife. “Deep learning and artificial intelligence technologies have the potential to enhance research efforts in virtually all areas of the company.”

About Nervana Systems

Based in Palo Alto and San Diego, CA, Nervana Systems has developed a full-stack deep learning solution that enables organizations of all sizes to quickly build and deploy state-of-the-art deep learning-based AI solutions. Founded by experts in machine learning, neuroscience, and computer engineering, Nervana has assembled experienced data scientists, engineers, and business professionals from the best institutions, research labs, and high-growth technology companies in the world including Brown, Caltech, Duke, Harvard, UC Berkeley, Qualcomm, and Goldman Sachs. The company is backed by leading VC firms including DFJ, DCVC, Allen & Co, AME Cloud Ventures, Playground Global, CME Group, Fuel Capital, Lux Capital, and Omidyar Network. To learn more about the Nervana Cloud, please email us at

About the Lab of Forward Thinking

Manulife and John Hancock’s Lab of Forward Thinking (LOFT) explores emerging technologies, new business processes and consumer needs to deliver innovative solutions. Through LOFT labs in Boston, Singapore and Toronto, teams discover, incubate and accelerate new technologies, products, services and processes. The fail-fast culture gives every idea a fighting chance to succeed. Follow the LOFT on Facebook, as well as on Twitter and Instagram at @InnovateForward.

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group providing forward-thinking solutions to help people with their big financial decisions. We operate as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2015, we had approximately 34,000 employees, 63,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving 20 million customers. At the end of March 2016, we had $904 billion (US$697 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made more than $24.9 billion in benefits, interest and other payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as ‘MFC’ on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation