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Robo-advice to help, not hinder advisers

Advisers can use robo-advice to solve some of the problems holding their businesses back and help regain trust, according to Audere Coaching & Consulting founder Stewart Bell.

In a statement, Mr Bell said that those who view robo-advice as a threat to advisers could be "missing the bigger opportunity".

"It's been a tough 12 months for many advice firms, and the reasons that come up time and time again are that it's harder to represent the value of advice to clients, more difficult to deliver and challenging to attract, motivate and retain great staff," he said.

"Then you've got robo-advice on everyone's lips, potentially offering cheaper, faster and more accessible advice. You can understand why there is concern."

Mr Bell believes that the technology and the thinking behind the way tech start-ups are launched could be beneficial to many advice firms.

"If you look at one of the core things start-ups are advised to do, it's to get close to the customer, and really seek to understand the existing real world problems, unmet wants and unfulfilled needs they have," he said.

"To do that, you need to be able to have that direct relationship, and for all the resources of large institutions, that's something they are challenged to do. Advisers on the other hand can do it freely, which is why the future is theirs to create."


Mr Bell added that the challenge for advisers in taking that approach is finding the time.

"Most firms have business opportunities they don't even realise are there. The challenge is, firstly, freeing up time to look for them and, secondly, having a simple method they can follow to go from finding the 'idea' to launching without spending a fortune," he said.

"If some of those challenges can be removed – and we have hundreds of advisory businesses who are genuine about putting the client at the centre of innovation efforts, finding ways to create more and more value with less and less manual effort – suddenly you create huge capacity to positively impact more Australians.

"For me, that's where our industry can start to regain some of the trust that's been chipped away, rightly or wrongly, over the past few years," Mr Bell said.