“Simple advice to the mass market - i.e. investing in an Isa, saving into a pension or buying term assurance - should be done online and without the need for face to face advice. All the advice community is doing is manually hand cracking a machine that should be automated.”
He suggested that the risk of poor consumer outcomes for this level of advice is relatively small and advisers should adopt self-select models for their smaller clients, which will act as a ‘nursery’ generating brand loyalty for when people actually need an adviser.
“A model will never be built that is capable of dealing with the complex older pension structures, reams of new government legislation, analysing tax efficient investment offerings or simply managing someone’s wealth who does not have the time nor interest to do it themselves,” Mr Brown added.
“Technology will develop further and dominate the mass-market and the adviser community will largely carry on as it does now, just using technology to make themselves more efficient and profitable.”
Sham Gill, head of strategy and proposition at financial services technology firm SSP, commented that amid these changes, it is important that advisers maintain a holistic approach to their digital strategy.
“They should ask themselves whether other channels can remove some of the burden so that they can focus on giving that personal touch.
“I think decisions are currently being made in isolation at many firms, these things need to be considered as a whole. The changes will be ultimately driven by consumers wanting to engage in a certain way, so advisers shouldn’t make assumptions about who their customers will be tomorrow.”