Then the robots came for the wealth managers…
While much of the focus on the effects of automation in the workforce falls upon manual, skilled and lower level clerical jobs, much of the impact of the next wave of automation will fall on higher level roles.
The rise of the robot financial advisor is a good example of this, as Finextra reports, Well Fargo bank has teamed up with fintech startup SigFig to automate wealth management.
Wealth management has been a lucrative field for banks in recent years however it has come with a reputational risk as poorly trained, incompetent or unethical advisors have pushed customers into investments more aligned with the staffs’ commission structures than the clients’ interests.
Given the costs and risks of employing well paid financial advisors, it’s understandable banks would be attracted to automating the function.
The problem for the banks is automated tools will commoditise the marketplace and almost certainly drive down margins.
So, along with the well paid jobs, the river of gold that was wealth management dries up for the banking sector.