Robo-advisers focused on data not money

The owners of new robo-advice platforms are more focused on the value of the information they collect from clients rather than the monetisation of advice provision, says Deloitte.

Discussing the release of its report, entitled The Advice Based World, in Sydney yesterday, Deloitte lead partner of financial services assurance and advisory Phil Hardy said robo-advisers have a “different value realisation” from monetary gain.

Mr Hardy said robo-advisers will look to capitalise on ‘mining’ and storing the data of clients who use the digital platforms, rather than looking to profit from the advice they provide.

“One of the things that I find interesting about [organisations] that have a digital-only strategy… they may choose not to have any monetised value in the advice per se because they are seeing some other value from the information they will capture,” Mr Hardy said.

“Information hasn’t been traditionally captured all that well by data systems and incumbent providers, and that information has not traditionally been well analysed to look for different ways of creating value for the organisation,” he said.

Mr Hardy also acknowledged that digital advice providers have the capacity to introduce new clients to cheap and affordable advice, and to ‘mine’ their data and then use it at a later point to provide more comprehensive advice when the client has more funds.

Also speaking at the event, Deloitte's director of financial services assurance and advisory Andy Abeya said advisers will start to reevaluate the way in which they define holistic advice.

“The term holistic advice seems to be mainly thought of as advice that covers off investments, insurance and superannuation,” Mr Abeya said.

"What we see is that definition is further evolving and [so is] the role of the adviser in being able to get into other aspects of the customer's wellbeing.

“If we think of financial wellbeing for a second, it does include things such as tax and debt management. It doesn’t necessarily mean that advisers need to be well versed in all of these things but [they need to be] aware and partnering with other people who can bring a whole-of-financial-wellbeing solution to a customer,” he said.

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