Advisers struggle to break away from the idea that their value lies in technical knowledge, skills with numbers or their understanding of products – all areas in which artificial intelligence and technology tools are capable of out-performing advisers, Zurich has said.
Commenting on a recent Zurich whitepaper titled BusinessFIT: Navigating towards the advice practice of tomorrow, Zurich head of marketing and communications Richard Dunkerley said advisers need to break away from the idea that their value-add lies in technical skills, which evolving smart technologies will soon make redundant.
Instead, advisers should focus on harnessing new technology to boost their human relationships with clients.
“I can tell you that the majority of advisers can’t break away from the idea that they do a whole bunch of technical stuff, they do a whole bunch of numbers, they think their value-add is around understanding products and strategies and that sort of stuff,” Mr Dunkerley said.
“I don’t think they have quite tweaked to the fact that most [AI] can do that equally, if not better.”
With the adoption of technology in the financial services industry, “the role of an adviser could shift considerably to that of a ‘facilitator’”.
“In this scenario, advisers remain crucial in understanding a client’s experiences, preferences and the subtleties of their long-term goals, while relying on powerful AI tools that use machine intelligence to amplify this data,” the document said.
Successful business models would employ this fusion of both human and AI resources in order to cater to a diverse range of clients with differing needs, some of whom would want to “hand over their entire financial decision-making” to the adviser while others would prefer a more hands-on “do-it-yourself” approach.
The benefit of utilising tools such as AI would be the space created for advisers to focus on the “higher value aspects” of their firm, such as growing relationships with clients, networking and marketing, according to the report.
"The future of financial advice will be bionic – a powerful combination of both humans and robots, working together and augmenting one another to inhabit a brand new consumer space,” the white paper said.
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