Investments  

Adviser role expected to change 'significantly'

Adviser role expected to change 'significantly'

The CFA Institute has warned advisers "risk obsolescence" if they fail to adapt to new skills, with a new poll suggesting the majority feel their role will be significantly different or even nonexistent within the next ten years. 

The institute warned of a "disruptive and complex" environment in which advisers must adapt to survive, including embracing what is expected to become the growing role of artificial intelligence in the investment industry. 

The predictions come as the CFA Institute published its Investment Professional of the Future report today (June 17), which included a survey of 3,832 institute members regarding their future career paths. 

Of those surveyed 48 per cent stated they expected their role to be "significantly different or nonexistent" in the next five to ten years, with this figure rising to 58 per cent amongst financial advisers. 

The CFA Institute stated the development of new skills will be "essential" to remaining competitive in the industry, warning investment professionals must "adapt or risk obsolescence". 

Paul Smith, president and chief executive of the CFA Institute, said: "In a disruptive and complex environment, knowledge decays more quickly and skills must be deepened.

"The ability to see opportunity in disruption is vital for today’s investment professionals. This report offers valuable insight into how employees and employers in the industry can adapt and thrive."

The association recommended investment professionals must become more "tech-savvy", citing artificial intelligence (AI) as the biggest factor accelerating change in the industry as it "displaces or enhances" investment roles. 

According to the CFA Institute, routine tasks will increasingly be performed by machines and the "human element of judgment" will become more important.

The institute predicted professionals who "strike a balance" between human and AI interaction were likely to "reap the most rewards".

Last year Aberdeen Standard Investments launched a global fund, the Aberdeen Global Artificial Intelligence Global Equity SICAV, in which the stocks are picked using AI and machine learning helps to select equities. 

Speaking at the time, Aberdeen's then-co-chief executive Martin Gilbert said the ability for machines to read and understand vast amounts of data when forecasting market moves had "spawned innovation" for active investment management firms. 

rachel.addison@ft.com 

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