Rogo CEO Gabe Stengel on Scott Galloway Podcast: First Time Founders

Rogo CEO Gabe Stengel - Prof G Pod with Scott Galloway
Gabriel Stengel

Our CEO and Co-Founder Gabe Stengel appeared on Scott Galloway’s Prof G Media’s podcast, hosted by Ed Elson, to discuss Rogo, the future of AI in financial services, and entrepreneurship. See an excerpt below, and listen to the full episode here (or watch it here).

If you’re interested in learning more about how Rogo’s AI solutions could help your firm, we’d love to chat. We’re also hiring – see our open roles and get in touch.


Ed Elson, Prof G Media: I want to start with the question that I think most of Wall Street would want to ask you, which is, “Is AI going to replace bankers?”

Gabe Stengel, Rogo: No, I think bankers would actually be happy if it could replace a lot of the PowerPoint and Excel work that they do, but the reality is that we’re a long way away from full automation. We’re a helpful tool. We make people smarter. We make gathering materials quicker. We make putting together PowerPoints and research memos a little bit more efficient. We’re not replacing anyone.

Ed: Are you sure that a banker should believe you when you make that statement? Tell me more about why you’re not replacing anyone.

Gabe: We’re replacing work, we’re not replacing people. Even in recent history, five years ago, before COVID, you probably had investment banking analysts, after staying up all night creating a pitch deck, they would go print it out, bind the books, deliver the books to their managing director and partners’ apartments. That would take a few hours. No one’s doing that anymore because everything’s virtual. It’s not like these bankers are working less, right? They’re just filling up their time doing smarter, more interesting things.

When I was a banker, I spent a lot of time doing very interesting, thoughtful work at Lazard, and that’s why I loved it. And then there was occasionally work that was not so thoughtful and not so interesting, and we’re helping get rid of that.

There’s a lot of examples throughout history of automation creating jobs, right? If you look at the A.T.M. example that folks like Ezra Klein bring up often of when A.T.M.s got invented – actually what happened was there were more bank tellers than ever over the coming three decades because banks became more efficient to operate commercial branches, and so they expanded. I think what you’ll see in investment banking and in investing writ large is it’s going to become more efficient to operate these businesses, and they’ll want to expand.

Ed: Give us an example. You were a banker and you said that there are some services that you were doing that were meaningless.

Gabe: Here’s a great example. You cover a certain subset of companies. When they release earnings, you just want to write a quick update for everyone on your team saying, what did they hit? What did they miss? What are they saying about M&A? Are they interested in M&A? What are people in the space saying? What are the analyst reactions? That can take a few hours to write. That can get automated. And now what you can spend your time doing is being thoughtful about what does this earnings mean for us? Should we engage? Should we present new acquisition opportunities to them? Instead of spending a lot of time synthesizing publicly available information and putting it in a little email.

Another example is just benchmarking, right? Every growth equity and VC investor needs to know, “What does great net revenue retention look like at Snowflake, at Procore, and all sorts of businesses?” What they’re doing right now is having an analyst benchmark that on a quarterly basis so that they can reference it in podcast and reference it in IC memos and so on. That shouldn’t be done by hand anymore either. 

Ed: What kind of work do you think bankers will be doing? If they’re not doing all the things that you just described, what kinds of opportunities would you say this opens up? 

Gabe: Why do people use M&A bankers? And just to set the stage a little bit, what is an M&A banker, right? An M&A banker is not making investments for anyone. They’re advising CEOs on when they want to sell their company or buy another company. They’re offering real thoughtful advice, and that’s the work they’ll continue to do. And when you’re offering really thoughtful advice, you have to have evidence to back it up, materials to back it up. Rogo helps make gathering that evidence a lot easier to prosecute more deals, advise more companies, offer smarter insights, and offer maybe more products, right? If you were just offering M&A advisory as a service before, maybe now that’s easier for you to do with your team of 100. And you can also offer some consultation style work that McKinsey does, too, or some geopolitical advisory work as well. And the opportunity to expand your service and enrich it is now kind of endless.