PIMFA’s CEO, Liz Field, also agrees that advances in technology have played their part in bringing about considerable change, although she warns that “the rapid adoption of fintech and robo-advice platforms are combining lower cost entry into the investment market with consumers’ self-belief that they don’t need help to manage their finances. Looking ahead though, she has a message for the sector, that “These are challenges that, as an industry we can and must address in the next decade through the provision of a lower cost and simplified advice model and through the provision of advice that accommodates advances in technology through the offer of more hybrid advice services.”
Looking at the rise of social media, The Timebank’s Head of Development, Damian Davies sees change ahead commenting that “Clients have access to so much information now, so maybe the next 10 years could see advisers shifting their relationships with their clients from one of knowledge to one of guidance. That, he believes, “is the real value.”
Ross Laurie, CEO at Visible Capital has big expectations for a changing landscape ahead commenting ‘Having launched in 2020, our focus is all on the next ten years, where we see use of technology in financial services expanding exponentially. Open Banking/Open Finance/Open Pensions are all terms being banded around today, but very quickly they will be just the way things are done.
Going forward, he sees technology both doing all the heavy lifting for financial advice firms – “allowing financial advisers and paraplanners to focus on the areas where a human touch is needed” as well as enriching the data held by those firms, what Laurie calls “the ‘gold dust’, while also improving suitability of recommendations and thereby client outcomes.
Summing up, Laurie reflects on the changes to working practice during the pandemic commenting “If we look at the acceleration of how much more familiar and comfortable people have become with digital technology during the pandemic, working in virtual environments and dealing with people online, and extrapolate that year on year over the next decade, it gives us a very good idea of where we might be in 10 years’ time. The next decade is going to be one where technology becomes ever more core to the operations and success of financial advice businesses.”
According to Jackie Boylan, Head of FundsNetwork, she believes that trends which have emerged over the past decade have accelerated in the past 18 months. As she explains, “For example, the ways in which advisers engage with clients through to how they work themselves, with so many working remotely and unable to meet face-to-face. While virtual communication is likely to remain a big part of our lives in the future, there’s a real desire for in-person meetings that can help to strengthen relationships. What’s key here is that technology provides the flexibility for advisers and their clients to choose how they work together.”
Boylan continues, “Demand for advice looks set to increase in the coming years; the financial needs of the UK’s ageing population, shift in wealth between generations, and desire to prepare for the unexpected prompted by the pandemic are all set to increase awareness of the importance of financial planning. What’s going to be key is how the industry ensures that all those who require advice are able to access it.”
And finally, we’ll leave it to Liz Field to sum up as she comments “The next ten years could well see far greater change in our industry than the previous ten years have but they are likely to be largely positive and I’m sure IFA Magazine will be there to document them all.”
We sincerely hope you’re right Liz!