Over the past decade, the Wealth Management industry has undergone a sea change. There has been an exodus of customers with actively managed portfolios moving into passive funds and investment options. Wealth Management houses that charge a premium for active portfolio management suddenly felt immense pressure to justify their premium fees.
In the midst of this change in investor attitudes, technology has also taken the investing world by storm. Artificial Intelligence, Data, Analytics and more have given the industry an opportunity to create efficient solutions for investors and improve the efficiency of their wealth managers. In a rush to contain costs to stem bleeding bottom lines, only the firms that adopt tech and undergo a digital transformation will emerge winners.
How does AI help in Portfolio Management?
Mode data more accuracy:
Earlier investing decisions were made purely on the basis of speculation on past performance. However, efficiently crunching the data and arriving at the right decision required hours of poring over company records. Now analyzing the fiscal health of a company can be done in minutes, wealth managers can create complex algorithms and weigh in a multitude of variables to support their investment thesis. From past performance, filing, financial reports, industry reports, press releases, social media buzz and more can all be factored in while making an investment decision, vastly improving the accuracy of the decision.
AI has also allowed a wide range of unstructured data to be accounted for in the investment thesis. Data such as digital footprints, credit card data, cookies, store circulation data and a range of other factors can now be quantified and added to investment models to predict the investment outcomes.
Automation of cumbersome Middle & Back office tasks:
Artificial intelligence although touted as the enemy of the workforce is far from it, in fact, AI will help complement Middle and Back office workers and help automate ‘minimal value add’ and process-intensive tasks such as trend analysis, report generation, writing macros and more. Tasks such as Customer KYC, background verifications and more can also be easily automated helping the workforce focus more on strategy and research to generate alpha for their clients.
AI acts as a defense against fraud as it’s able to monitor transactions and cross-checks it against historical data in real-time. Algorithms can be set up to flag suspicious behaviors based on each Wealth Management firm’s standard operating procedures. Even if there are millions of transactions taking place on a day, AI will easily be able to sift through and flag the ones that need to be inspected.
Improves customer service:
Earlier if any client had to receive a report about their portfolio, this would require hours of manual work to compile and gain insights. Today’s advances in Natural Language Processing and pattern analysis means that reports and portfolio management commentary about investor portfolios can be down within seconds and mailed to the client. The best part is that there’s little to no waiting time and the investor can check the status of their investment in minutes.
Customers of today are used to an on-demand economy. In the app-enabled world, everything that the savvy customer of today wants is within reach at the click of a button. This expectation of instantaneous service has seeped over into the wealth management space. However, human wealth managers who are already burdened with long work hours cannot be expected to be available to global clients 24X7. The next best thing, however, is AI, Machine Learning enabled chatbots are now able to respond to common investor queries and handle basic requests such as generating reporting or providing status updates. These chatbots can also be configured to collect as much information is necessary via support chat and email it to the wealth manager’s so that they can take an informed decision and not spend additional time trying to gather the facts from the investors
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