By FINTECH Books Contributor, Amlan Mandal
As banking customers continue to move up the value chain, where retail clients look for private banking products and private banking clients look for investment-banking services, robo-advisors will play a more pragmatic role in wealth management systems globally.
Collectively, robo-advisors managed to touch less than $20 billion in assets by the end of 2014 , according to consulting firm Corporate Insight. And among industry insiders there have been great expectations that robo-advisory services, with their fully automated and scalable platforms, might be well positioned to enjoy rapid growth in AUM. Some time ago, they were the darlings of the Fintech industry, held up as a shining example of the disruptive power of technology in the financial marketplace by offering consumers a lower cost and fully automated version of traditional investment advisory services but slowly seem to have lost their sheen.
However, as the distinction between retail, private banking and institutional banking gets more blurred, the importance of robo-advisors will become more prominent than ever. Technology is well positioned to easily replace arduous manual scouting of investments to serve the growing needs of customers and find them tailor made solutions to manage their wealth proactively, but not without the touch of a human.
Developing customised investment solutions for each investor is onerous to achieve with banking head-counts shrinking at a brisk pace, but technology has the potential to uncover a range of dedicated opportunities for clients, and human intervention is only required for analysis and valuation of private investments.
Indeed, the private investment advisory market will move in a very similar direction to the public market, with the emergence of hybrid advisory services that integrate man and machine into a combined service offering.