Rise of robo advice will push advisers to play a more specialised, complex role says NZFAA

by Maya Breen09 Nov 2015
The New Zealand Financial Advisers’ Association hosted its annual conference in Queenstown last Wednesday, titled “Our Changing Landscape” to over 55 financial advisers in attendance.

NZFAA general manager David Yates told NZ Adviser regulation, technology and demographics were the key themes of the conference and explained how the adviser role will change as digital tools are embraced. 

“We’re trying to understand how technology is going to play out from a financial adviser’s point of view and how you build a regulatory framework that stands the test of time and the changes that are likely to occur in the next five to ten years,” says Yates.

Speakers at the conference included Derek Grantham principal consultant at the Financial Markets Authority, who gave an insight into the challenges the regulator faces in a changing world and Andrew Logan of IRESS NZ who spoke on how technology will influence advisers. 

“If we look at other industries and how technology has changed the face of many other industries, it is quite likely that the financial advice sector will go the same way,” says Yates.

He says looking around the world, he can see robo advice will definitely play a more important role in New Zealand down the track and explains the web 1.0 to 3.0 concept.

Web 1.0 is a website with a bit of a shop window; web 2.0 has more interactivity with the visitor; and web 3.0 is where the industry is heading where the consumer is in charge and expects to do most of the transacting and analysis on the web. 

“We need to be embracing it,” says Yates. “We need to be acknowledging it. Most advisers currently in New Zealand sit in the web 1.0 space - they need to move into the web 3.0 space rapidly otherwise we’re going to become unstuck as an industry.” 

Using the travel industry as an example, Yates explains how it was revolutionised by online booking systems and online tools as anyone can book a flight themselves quickly and easily these days. 

“Most travel agents now have refined their offering so those that have survived have either specialised in a particular space or catered to more complex needs.” 

“It then points to the role of the adviser being one of a specialist and somebody who deals with complexity. I think what we’ll see the advisory sector moving into those spaces – the specialist space and managing the more complex needs of the individual rather than just doing the day to day transactions because those day to day transactions will be handled electronically. 

He says taking advantage of some of the tools such as cloud technology, in conjunction with their own web presence that is going to enable advisers to make that transition from 1.0 to interactive and engaging solution for their clients 

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