Once brushed off as fads, “robo-advice” and social media are becoming critical for all financial advisers to leverage to engage millennials, according to BT Financial Group’s Jo Moxey.
Ms Moxey, BT’s head of adviser distribution platforms and investments, said while the robo advice market was still relatively small, more than half of millennials want robo advice as part of their solution alongside experts they can rely on.
Like other “fintech” companies, robo-advisers leverage technology to offer financial advice in a more automated way online, rather than the traditional relationship with people. Ms Moxey said it had grown strongly in the US in recent years to around $US200 billion under advice from 200 providers, compared to around $US27 trillion overseen by traditional advisers.
“It is emerging and traditional financial advisers see robo advice as certainly a way to help them gain scale,” Ms Moxey told Westpac Wire after a recent trip to the US visiting advice and investment groups.
“They certainly don’t see it as a threat, but they see it as an essential requirement of their business if they want to grow and they want to have connection with all parts of the market, not just the older generation.”
She added that the leading US financial advice businesses all have a social media strategy across platforms, such as Snapchat and Facebook, to showcase their value proposition and grow their reach.
In a report last year, Macquarie stockmarket analysts noted that millennials will earn “two out of every three dollars of income generated within Australia with their spending power set to rise more than one half trillion dollars (from $228bn to $853bn)”, representing a “titanic rise of importance”.
In Australia, banks have dabbled with robo-advice as part of technology investments, but are yet to make a major splash in the space. BT has in recent years enhanced and streamlined the advice process through digital channels alongside its broader technology investment in the Panorama platform, which provides a new integrated wealth and banking experience.
By Michael Bennet
Editor, Westpac Wire