Some independent financial advisors are using automated wealth management services to complement their business models.
Robo advice isn’t just for start-ups and millennials. Traditional wealth managers are using the automated service to streamline their services, often partnering with so-called robo advice platforms.
“I think for financial advisors as soon as they get their blinkers off, they’ll realize that robo advice actually is going to be a benefit to our market,” said Ciaran Stark, an independent financial advisor at Murphy Wealth.
Robo advice is a term often given to firms that use automated wealth management but has grown to mean any online money management or investing type of service.
Stark’s firm, a small business based in Glasgow, is changing how it does business. It plans to target small and medium-sized companies, using a lower-cost robo advice platform to help them invest and grow. The company will also be able to help friends and family of its current high wealth clients invest, he said.
Murphy Wealth is currently in talks with Moola, a wealth management platform, to use their software.
Some robo advisors are looking at other ways of monetizing by offering this software to advisors, in addition to their own investment platforms.
Gemma Godfrey, CEO of Moola, said she is helping these companies “future proof” their business.
Her model helps advisors with smaller transactions, such as opening an Individual Savings Account.
“Moola’s technology allows the adviser to remain in control, with full visibility on the investor, as this could be a smaller investment need of an existing client, a potential future client and/or a beneficiary of an existing client’s wealth,” she said.
Wealth Wizards is another one of the companies that offers a white label, or software that companies can buy and use for wealth automation. Simon Binney, business development director at the company, said there has been a lot of interest in the service, from fund managers, banks, and employee benefit companies.
Their service can save companies hours of time, he said. It takes about two hours for an advisor to recommend an investment strategy using Wealth Wizards service, including the time it takes to talk to the client. Normally, it takes advisors seven to 15 hours to come up with the same strategy.
“From an IFA perspective, our paraplanner solution meets all of their aspirational business and clients ambitions and we see these solutions being a significant way of enabling them to be more efficient while growing their advice businesses and advising more clients consistently while managing compliance and risk for the business,” Binney said.
Christian Evans, founder of Sanktuary Investments, a fund management in Cardiff, said that he is also looking at using a robo advice service in the next year. His firm, which is in its first year, offers a flat performance fee of 30 per cent, rather than a fixed fee.
“What I want to do is use robo advice as a way to go across the risk spectrum, so you can offer these products across maybe a low-risk bond fund and also have medium to high risk in other structured products as well,” he said.
While robo advice might be changing how investments are done, investors are not worried that that using automation will leave them without a job.
“Clients are always going to need face-to-face,” Stark said. Investment managers might find themselves without a job but for the time being, human financial advisors are here to stay.
For Evans, robo and fund managers go hand in hand.
“There are thousands of funds out there. How is someone going to choose?” he said. “I think people want simplicity.”
This article was originally published on www.roboadvicenews.com.