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Thomson Reuters
Wealth Management & Private Banking

How AI is supercharging wealth management

Nathan Stevenson

12 Jul 2017

German electronic music band Kraftwerk performs at the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California. Photographer: Mario Anzuoni

Virtual advisors are helping meet the demands of investors who want data-driven insight and a rich, personalized experience akin to Netflix. How else can wealth managers harness the fintech explosion in augmented intelligence?

Cognitive software platforms, which provide the tools to analyze, organize, access, and provide advisory services based on a range of structured and unstructured data, are set to attract investment of nearly US$2.5 billion in this year alone.

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Additionally, spending on intelligent and cognitive applications is forecast by IDC to grow at an impressive 69 percent compound annual growth rate from 2017 to 2020.

Driving this explosion is the fact that more data will be created in 2017 than in the last 5,000 years. And it’s expected to increase three-fold from this year until 2021.

Darren Duffy (L) interviewing CEO of ForwardLane, Nathan Stevenson (R)

Beyond peak human capacity

Finding and keeping track of relevant trends is becoming more and more time-consuming.

At the same time, clients are more demanding and want data-driven insights instantly, in the same way as they do with Netflix or Amazon Alexa.

For wealth managers, this means pushing the limits of what’s possible and reaching beyond peak human capacity.

According to Aite Group, information overload — where managing data related to labor has become relentlessly time-consuming — has been quickly overtaken by “peak human capacity”.

This is where data and its onerous monitoring has become so ubiquitous that it is impossible for humans to handle.

South Korea’s Lee Sedol (R), the world’s top Go player, shakes hands with Demis Hassabis, the CEO of DeepMind Technologies and developer of AlphaGO, after a news conference ahead of matches against Google’’s artificial intelligence program AlphaGo, in Seoul, South Korea. Photographer: Kim Hong-Ji

In regulated investment and private banking, this is something that advisors know well. Views coming in from the CIOs office, research piling up in the inbox, a queue outside the door of the product specialist and compliance requirements changing all the time.

Gathering, consuming and making sense of all this data for one client can take hours, and this leads to a natural limitation in the number of clients and prospects one can cover.

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Advisor meets Augmented Intelligence

This is where Augmented Intelligence platforms can reduce the time taken to prepare for meetings, personalize communications and dynamically prioritize your day based on signals that the “machines” are constantly monitoring at scale.

Leveraging analyst-level smart Q&A, you can use the virtual expert to answer specific questions you have around strategies, themes, investment policies or even individual client details.

For the end client, this new hybrid-model balances the trust and context of a human advisor with cutting-edge AI-powered technology.

It means that investors get a rich personalized, mobile experience akin to Netflix, but with the knowledge that the wealth manager’s intelligence platform is combing through their investments across hundreds of variables and is monitoring, sorting and informing them where relevant.

Watch video — “Supercharging Wealth Management with AI” – Power of the Platform Wealth Partnership Series

Goals-based wealth management

One of the biggest concerns investors have is the protection of their core assets.

As unpredictable events are causing turbulence across the world, investors want to know where they stand.

The ability to personalize event-driven insights — news, research and firm views — quantitatively and qualitatively to an individual client goes a long way to providing transparency into what is happening, why it’s happening and why it matters.

This will always be important — transparency and authenticity.

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It should be the first story clients are told: here’s why you’re protected, why our firm has done a great job in ensuring you and your family’s assets are safe.

Expert virtual advisor

The final area in which AI can help is delivering expert-level insights as a smart Q&A conversational interface that engages with both firm and market intelligence, as well as be more responsive to clients with personalized insights and tailored answers.

Deployed as an API plug-in, this can completely refresh user experiences, with ever-green insights constantly adapting to end clients, the firm and market dynamics.

It goes far beyond a ‘chatbot,’ with real intelligence and depth — a next-gen experience for demanding investors. 

Advanced data aggregation

Thomson Reuters Wealth Management is making great strides towards a truly open platform with the evolution of service-based architecture and RESTful APIs.

In the future, data aggregation and integration with partners like ForwardLane, other fintech companies and existing partners will bring vast savings for wealth managers in terms of infrastructure costs and a substantial reduction in complexity.

Thomson Reuters Wealth Management and ForwardLane have joined forces to reduce complexity and costs for wealth managers
Thomson Reuters Wealth Management and ForwardLane have joined forces to reduce complexity and costs for wealth managers

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Think flicking a virtual switch on all the technology and data partners you want, without the headaches of integration.

Sound data is fundamental to delivering a personalized client experience, with machine-learning fetching and tailoring communications and insights dynamically.

This means less time spent gathering data, more time spent in active advisory and prospecting.

In this sense, machine-learning is used to replace the tedium of monitoring, with insights brought to the wealth manager’s attention through a feed, with different view points powering client-centric actions, backed by insights.

Read ForwardLane’s infographic — ‘How cognitive advice is changing the world’

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