Changes and developments in technology – and society – will continue to reshape the advice industry, with robo-advice at the forefront of disruption, according to Zurich Financial Services.
In a new report, titled #Trending – 2015 Advice Trend Briefing, Zurich – in partnership with TrendWatching – said robo-advice will increasingly provide value to advice firms.
The report argued that rather than looking at automation as a threat, it should be seen as a means to improve customer experience and as a boost to business efficiency.
“Rather than seeing robo-advice, or variations of, as a threat, is this something you could incorporate into your own proposition, perhaps enabling you to serve a segment of clients not previously available?” the report asked.
While robo-advice is not likely to replace the human equivalent, its emergence has several consequences for advisers.
According to the report, automation will disrupt the traditional economic framework of advice.
“Automated portfolio management services could eventually create price pressures on this aspect of advice,” it said.
Moreover, as consumers become more tech-savvy, they will likely expect to access aspects of advice through technology. As a result, advisers will face increasing pressure to demonstrate the value they add, the report said.
Richard Dunkerley, head of marketing and communications for Zurich’s life and investments business, said: “Advisers are dealing with a lot of change right now, especially those active in the life insurance sector who are preparing for the proposed new Life Insurance Framework (LIF).”
“The rise of the robot, for example, will impact not only the delivery of advice, but will completely reshape the nature of our workforce and our economy,” he added.
“The leading advisers are those who already have this type of disruption on their radar and are exploring how to best position themselves for it."
In addition to the report, Zurich and TrendWatching have released a series of video podcasts aimed at dissecting the trends reshaping the advice industry.