The Future of Advice: How Automation is changing what we do

Financial Advisory

25 June 2019

Advisory DistributorsAdvisory investment servicesClientDigital platformDigitalisationFinancial AdvisoryFinancial services


  • The demand for advice is still rising with assets under advice rising from £64bn to £521bn in just 10 years.
  • The first contact for Robo Advice is, in the majority of cases, for Retirement Advice.
  • The Robo models that have succeeded have done so by converting existing customers and not in attracting new customers.
  • The hybrid models of Robo have been successful and therefore IFAs are ideally positioned should they introduce a digital solution to complement their existing business.
  • Parts of the advice process lend themselves to being automated.
  • Since 1900, automation has removed a huge number of basic human tasks.
  • There is no truly digitalised solution in the UK.
  • A ‘digitalised solution’ means different things to different people. The same can be said for the word ‘advice’.
  • A digital experience needs to offer more than just a product.
  • It is recognised that there would be a lower cost to providing a digital solution.
  • Investment fund discussions are about high cost v low cost and no longer about active v passive.
  • Behaviours are changing.

Key Challenges:

  • Cost of implementation.
  • How to deliver two types of service.
  • The definition of a ‘Digital Solution’ and of ‘Advice’ is not consistent.

Conclusions and solutions:

  • Automation should be encouraged, it will create efficiencies to improve profits, but also it will enable employees to do the tasks that they enjoy and really make a difference.
  • Businesses should be indifferent to their advice offering as long as price and services are appropriately aligned.
  • Many adviser firms have been implementing automation for years, particularly in the areas of investment reporting, rebalancing of portfolios, risk profiling, asset allocation, portfolio management, fund selection, and cashflow projections.
  • Consideration should be given to providing a digital solution to compliment Advice. Care should be given to how this is introduced to clients.
  • We may see the larger providers of Digital Solutions such as Vanguard providing white labelled versions to help strategic partners.


Expert: Roy Wilkinson and Georgina Yarwood, Vanguard