Artificial Intelligence: Giving advisors the gift of time
Our team is lucky enough to sit at the intersection of some of the largest and most successful wealth management firms and the daunting wave of technology disruption that looms closer each year. Clients are rightly demanding more for their advisory fee. Advisors are stretched to comply with new regulation while taking on more clients and somehow provide all of them better, more customized service. For so many advisors, their current technology and reporting capabilities enable them to do a million things except one: Spend more time with clients.
So when F2 Strategy comes across a new technology that might actually give advisors days, or even weeks, back of their time, without changing how they manage portfolios, we take notice.
The technology is called Natural Lanaguge Generation (NLG), a branch of the Artificial Intelligence tree. It’s ability to rapidly consume the myriad of structured data sources (accounting, CRM, planning, performance, research, compliance, etc) used for client reviews or inquiries and provide real-time answers to the questions which typically take significant brainpower and time is impressive to say the least. Most advisory teams that meet with clients quarterly spend between 2 to 8 hours per relationship pulling reports, scanning through data, and generating commentary or notes for the in-person discussion. Multiplied across hundreds of relationships, this becomes a huge time suck for advisors and can keep teams busy for weeks each quarter in preparation and analysis. By utilizing NLG, however, advisors are able to automatically receive a comprehensive explanation of each client’s investment performance, with insights that are not always evident when reviewing reports or analyzing charts. It can be trained to look for correlations between events or to interpret the materiality of an issue based on other inputs.
Once implemented, NLG has the potential to shorten the client review prep time down to minutes. The advisor is given 20-40 bullet-point notes about the portfolio comprising the top things he/she would have otherwise needed to spend hours inquiring. NLG enables the communication of investment performance via the most engaging way possible, a personalized narrative. With automated, data-driven narratives, advisors have access to easy-to-understand, custom communication regarding how their clients investments are performing and the drivers impacting that performance.
We predict that once advisors become used to having AI as an assistant, they will find other ways to benefit from this simplified and human language based technology. We foresee NLG text auto-generated into performance reports (“This report shows your excess return was…”), automated email updates to clients (“Mrs Client, This week we trimmed more of our mid-duration bonds and increased your allocation to cash”) or eventually to the client directly via their own interaction ( ‘Alexa, what’s going on in my portfoilo this month?’).
In summary, we see a very bright and practical benefit for advisors with NLG technology this year and are working with our clients to make this a reality!