‘Let us just call it robo-advice’: Polson

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‘Let us just call it robo-advice’: Polson

Advisers need be more relaxed about the use of the term ‘robo-advice’ as well as the word ‘advice’ itself, Mark Polson has said.

The chief executive of consultancy The Lang Cat also said that advisers should not be overly worried over whether or not it was “advice.”

Mr Polson said: “Flesh-and-blood advisers hate the term, as they feel they have a lease on ‘advice’. Understandable but inaccurate. As always with new entrants, the lingua franca of the incumbents gets disrupted, and they are forced to articulate what they do and why they are worth the coin.”

According to Mr Polson, the main problems advisers had with the term robo-advice could be seen in two ways - that ‘robo’ was inaccurate and ‘advice’ was misleading.

He said that as part of a generation that grew up with Star Wars it was a bit disappointing that it was not actual robots giving advice but “who cares? It is fun and a damn sight more catchy than the alternatives being put about,” he said.

Recognising that not everything described as ‘robo’ gave advice, and that there are different levels of advice, Mr Polson said he had less sympathy with the view of some advisers who deem the word ‘advice’ as being misleading.

Industry view

Research published earlier this month by Cerulli said that digitial advice should be seen as an opportunity, and not a threat to the US advice market.

Robo-adviser MoneyFarm, prominent in the Italian market, has raised €16m (£11.2m) to finance its European expansion and launch into the UK.