Informatics alumnus wins global final

[2015] Dr Grant Passmore’s company Aesthetic Integration has been announced winner of the UBS Future of Finance Challenge.

Aesthetic Integration’s technology automatically analyses financial algorithms for glitches and unfair behaviour.

The company was co-founded by Grant, with colleague Denis Ignatovich. Grant was awarded his PhD in the School of Informatics in 2011 and was a Research Associate in our Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science, 2011-14.


UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti , Aesthetic Integration co-founders Denis Ignatovich and Grant Passmore, and UBS CIO Oliver Bussmann
(Left to right) UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti , Aesthetic Integration co-founders Denis Ignatovich and Grant Passmore and UBS CIO Oliver Bussmann

About the competition

UBS is a global firm providing financial services in over 50 countries. The UBS Future of Finance Challenge is an open innovation competition for entrepreneurs, start-ups or growing companies that could change the way finance works or how banks meet their clients' needs.

Companies compete to win prizes worth US$5,000-$50,000, plus coaching and mentoring and the opportunity to test and develop their ideas and technologies.

As well as a first prize of 1st prize US$50,000, UBS will work closely with Aesthetic Integration over the coming months, supporting them in their bid to commercialise and scale their ideas and technologies by leveraging USB’s global presence, expertise in global banking and system of innovation partners.

Honoured by the endorsement

In a press release on the Aesthetic Integration website, Grant says,

“We’re beyond honoured to have won first place at the UBS Future of Finance Challenge! This is an incredible endorsement of our vision for the future of safe and fair financial markets.”

He told us:

"We can still hardly believe that we won. We couldn't be more encouraged!"

Regional finalists

In November, Aesthetic Integration and two other Informatics alumni start-ups - AimBrain and Cryptosense - beat 12 other regional finalists, out of 160 entries from across northern Europe, at an event in London.

AimBrain was founded by Andrius Sutus (BEng Edinburgh 2014) and Alesis Novik (MSc Artificial Intelligence 2011), while Cryptosense was co-founded by Graham Steel (PhD 2004, Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications, RA DReaM Group 2004-2007).

Global final

Of the 620 companies from 52 countries who entered, 60 were then chosen for the regional finals, of which 12 went through to the global final.

Aesthetic Integration was announced as the overall winner of the competition in Zurich, 10 December 2015

Useful links

Regional winners story (Aesthetic Integration, AimBrain and Cryptosense)

Aesthetic Integration



Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science (LFCS)