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Advisers told to 'manage investors' to add value

Advisers told to 'manage investors' to add value

Advisers have been told they need to manage investors more than manage investments.

Speaking at the Personal Finance Society's conference today (November 23), Abraham Okusanya, principal at FinalytiQ, said technology was certain to replace many of the jobs advisers currently do.

This meant advisers would have to establish what part of their service could not be replaced.

He said: "The highest value proposition of the adviser is not to manage the investments but to manage the investor.

"We cannot build our value proposition around trying to eek out a little bit more. That is just not going to survive the onslaught of technology because technology can do this stuff better.

"We have to double down on being human. Our profession has more to learn from psychologists than it does from investment pundits."

Mr Okusanya pointed out that earlier this year Fidelity had launched an index fund with no fee, and he predicted this downward pressure on costs would only continue.

He said: "We are now the most expensive part of the value chain. Justifiably so, but it is hard to think that enviable position will last forever.

"The cost of advice is going to come under an incredible, obscene amount of pressure."

But he said technology would be advisers' "saviour".

He added: "The financial planning firm of the future will have more coders and programmers than administrators and paraplanners."

damian.fantato@ft.com

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