Technology fostering a new generation of advisers

A new group of financial advisers is emerging as a result of the swell of changes and escalating tech focus in the advice industry, one consultant has said.

Speaking to ifa, Andrew Tucker, chief executive at ITonCloud, said evolutions in robo investing, the cloud, data security, automation and the rise of tech-empowered customers are fostering a new generation of financial advisers.

Mr Tucker said it is interesting to see how advisers are responding to a more tech-empowered customer.

“We are seeing that financial advisers who are on the front foot when it comes to articulating the value of advice have realised that technology is giving today’s consumers access to almost the same information as advisers, in real-time and from almost anywhere,” he said.

According to Mr Tucker, customers are no longer bound to advisers for information and things like do-it-yourself investing are becoming popular, meaning advisers are competing less with other businesses and instead having to convince both current and prospective clients that their offering is more valuable, effective and efficient than any of the apps, platforms or websites available.

The new generation of financial advisers have turned their attention to the cloud, data security, automation, artificial intelligence and robo-advice, Mr Tucker said.

“Advisers are seeing the cloud as an enabler, but more importantly as a platform. Advisers are using private hosted cloud environments to replace their IT systems so that they can access technology that gives them better data visibility and lets them actually use data to enhance client experiences. The cloud lets them access other tools like client dashboards and operate their system in a cyber secure environment at the fraction of the price,” Mr Tucker said.

Investors are becoming savvier and while they don’t know how to read the markets and do projections, the rise of AI is closing that gap Mr Tucker said.

“There are AI offerings that provide investors with predictions and ‘what if’ statements,” he said.

“Savvy advisers are looking at these offerings and saying ‘OK, how am I going to better leverage this emerging technology to take an even better service to my client?’”

The generation of app-hungry Millennials with a tech-first approach to communication are set for a massive inheritance off the back of an imminent generational wealth transfer.

Mr Tucker said advisers are now transforming client engagement models to look at customising and automating communication touch points – a bare minimum engagement requirement if advisers want to stay relevant in the years to come.

“We are seeing advisers coming up with interesting ways to remain sticky with their clients – if you’re going to hide away and fail at getting ahead of the times you’re not going to make it,” he said.

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